Manchester

Dave Potts 'may have set himself on fire' in Broadheath

Scene of fatal house fire in Broadheath
Image caption A four-year-old boy was rescued from an upstairs bedroom

A man who died in a Greater Manchester house fire that left a woman and her three children critically injured may have set himself alight, police said.

Dave Potts, 39, was found with serious burns in the fire on Barlow Street, Broadheath at 04:50 BST on Monday. He died later in hospital.

Tracy Jones, 40, and her children, aged four, 15 and 18, are critically ill.

The matter has been referred to the police watchdog as the family had contact with police in the past month.

Ms Jones and the two teenagers managed to escape the house before firefighters arrived.

Neighbour Kevin Pearce rescued Ms Jones. He described the scene as being like "something from a film set".

'Reports of harassment'

"It's not something you'd see next door and it's something I wouldn't want to see again," he said.

Crews rescued the four-year-old boy from an upstairs bedroom and found Mr Potts badly burned in the downstairs lounge.

A post-mortem examination confirmed Mr Potts died of fire-related injuries, police said.

Greater Manchester Police said the family was already known to officers due to previous reports of harassment, and its professional standards branch had voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The force said this was standard procedure and it would be for the IPCC to decide whether to conduct an investigation.

Ch Supt Mark Roberts, who leads the force's Trafford division, said: "At this time, we are not looking for anyone further in relation to this incident."

He added that the possibility that Mr Potts started the fire was a "main line of inquiry".

Police have asked anyone with any information to contact them or Crimestoppers anonymously.

Patrols have been stepped up in the area and people have been encouraged to speak to officers.

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