Oxford

Elderly woman dies in Blackbird Leys house fire

Fire officers and police outside the house
Image caption Neighbours tried to rescue the woman who was upstairs in a bedroom

A woman in her 80s has died in a fire which started in the bedroom of her Oxfordshire home.

Crews were called to Samphire Road, Blackbird Leys, at about 2130 GMT on Thursday after smoke was seen billowing out of the house.

The woman's elderly husband was rescued by a neighbour from the ground floor of the property but she died at the scene.

An investigation has started into the cause of the fire, which is not thought to be suspicious.

Firefighters wearing breathing equipment went into the first-floor bedroom where the rescued man's wife was found.

Neighbours said some residents had tried to rescue the elderly woman but were stopped from going upstairs by thick smoke and heat.

Ken Marshall told the BBC the couple were well known in the area.

'Smoke-logged'

"There was not a lot of flames but there was a lot of smoke coming out of the upstairs window," he said.

"The first thing I knew about it was when I heard the sounds of the fire service and about 10 police cars had arrived."

A cordon has been put up around the terraced house while forensic teams carry out an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Station manager Gary D'Anger, of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said residents living close to the scene were evacuated.

"When firefighters arrived the elderly gentleman was downstairs and a neighbour had gone in and was half-way through getting him out.

"The first-floor bedroom was very heavily smoke-logged, the physical fire was not that intense.

"We have only done a preliminary investigation and police have cordoned off the scene."

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