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'He was the kindest man you could ever meet' - Village mourns loss of neighbour after fire tragedy

PUBLISHED: 11:19 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 18 March 2019

A man died after the blaze at the two-storey home in Ilketshall St Margaret. Picture: GRETA LEVY

A man died after the blaze at the two-storey home in Ilketshall St Margaret. Picture: GRETA LEVY

Archant

A village is in mourning following a tragic fire which claimed the life of a “pillar of the community”.

A man, believed to be in his 80s, died after a housefire in Illketshall St Margaret. Picture: GRETA LEVYA man, believed to be in his 80s, died after a housefire in Illketshall St Margaret. Picture: GRETA LEVY

Police and firefighters were called to a blaze in Ilketshall St Margaret on Saturday night (March 16) to reports of a house fire.

Villagers said the blue lights from the emergency response team flooded Low Street as police forced their way into the property and rescued the man, who is believed to be in his 80s.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said next door neighbours heard a loud bang, before calling Suffolk police.

“I used to pick him up and drive him into town to catch a bus so he could see his daughter every now and then.

“He has lived here for years, most probably his whole life,” they said.

Fire crews, together with the police officers, provided initial first aid to the man until paramedics took over.

The man, believed to be aged in his 80s, was taken by ambulance to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and required CPR while he was transported. He later died at the hospital.

His neighbour Valerie said: ”He would always be a very independent person and would rather do something for other people, rather than himself.

“He was the best neighbour anyone could ask for, he would always litter pick. He would come down with me to the White House, in Beccles and sit with a man who is bed ridden.”

She said: “He tragically lost his wife to cancer years ago, and his daughter soon after. He was the kindest person you could ever meet.

“He always would always be the best dressed, he was always proud of his appearance,” she said.

Norman Jay, who has lived in the village for 20 years, said despite his age, “he was quite a fit old man”.

“He was a strong old man, we would always see him walking to the bottom of the road,” Mr Jay said.

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