Probe into Cottesmore house fire in which woman died

Fatal house fire in The Leas, Cottesmore EMN-170501-142730001
Fatal house fire in The Leas, Cottesmore EMN-170501-142730001

Investigators are trying to establish the cause of a house fire which claimed the life of a female occupant.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service was called to a property in The Leas, off Main Street, Cottesmore, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Four fire appliances were dispatched to the scene, along with police officers, an ambulance crew and a doctor from the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS) charity.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and rescued a woman, believed to be around 50 years old, who was trapped inside.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services personnel, she later died in hospital.

A fire service spokesman said: “This is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of the fire and rescue service are with the family, friends and acquaintances of the deceased.

“We are fortunate that this type of tragedy happens very infrequently.

“The cause of the fire is being jointly investigated by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Leicestershire Police and, at this time, we have not been able to establish if the premises contained working smoke detectors.”

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service staff will be working in the Cottesmore area during the next few days, to provide reassurance and advice to residents “about how they can avoid a similar scenario”.

The stone-built property where the fire broke out is said to be divided into two separate homes. One was badly damaged, and the other suffered only minor smoke damage.

Fire investigators were still at the scene on Thursday.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at news of the fatal fire.

One said: “We didn’t realise anything had happened until the morning when the emergency services were still in the street. It seems to have been a relatively small fire, but sadly one which was serious enough to claim a life.”