Woman dies in 'severe' house fire in Ludlow

Ludlow house fire
Image caption West Mercia Police said the fire was not being treated as suspicious

An elderly woman has died in a fire at her home in Shropshire.

Firefighters were called to a three-bedroomed house in Stanton Drive in Ludlow just after midnight after being alerted by the public.

The staircase had burnt away and firefighters had to use a ladder. A fire service spokesman described the blaze as "extremely severe".

The woman's dog also died in the blaze. Fire investigators and police officers are examining the scene.

'Helmet melted'

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: "The incident is under investigation but at this stage we do not believe it is suspicious."

He added the woman is believed to have been in her 70s.

A report on the incident is being prepared for the south Shropshire coroner.

When crews arrived, flames were coming out of the kitchen window and door, the spokesman said.

A firefighter's helmet melted due to the severity of the fire, he added.

"The house was very severely damaged," he said.

"It was an intense blaze and firefighters had to be very careful about a possible collapse of the building while they were inside.

"Fire crews are still there today and fire investigators are working with police to discover the cause of the fire which is believed to have stared in the kitchen area."

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