Alarm batteries 'might have saved Worthing man's life'

Fire in Worthing
Image caption A neighbour tried to enter the maisonette in Worthing but was beaten back by the flames

The life of a man who died in a fire at his maisonette in West Sussex might have been saved if the smoke alarms were working, firefighters have said.

The body of the man, believed to be the occupant of the maisonette in Gratwicke Road, Worthing, was found inside.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the property had two smoke alarms but neither had batteries.

"Had they been working the fire might have been detected earlier and it could have saved a life," said a spokesman.

Police said the 62-year-old man's next of kin were being informed and it was hoped his identity would be released later on Tuesday.

Not suspicious

Fire and police officers have been working to establish the cause of the fire on Monday but early indications are that it could have been due to discarded smoking materials.

It is not being treated as suspicious.

The alarm was raised by a neighbour at 05:15 GMT after the windows of the converted terraced house blew out.

The neighbour attempted to enter the property but was beaten back by fire, intense heat and thick smoke.

The Coroner's Officer is continuing her inquiries and a post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Thursday.

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