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House fire that killed supermarket worker 'caused by faulty fuse box'
A supermarket worker died in a horrific house fire believed to have been caused by a faulty fuse box.
Terry Davies, 24, was trapped in his flat by flames and smoke when the blaze broke out at his seafront home in Littlehampton in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Firefighters were called to the address in South Terrace at around 12.45am to find a fire raging in the front hall of the three-storey building.
Toxic smoke had spread up the staircase, leaving residents on upper floors with nowhere to go.
Two occupants managed to escape on their own while one woman had to be rescued from the first floor.
Another was saved by firefighters using a ladder platform after she climbed out onto the roof.
When firefighters wearing masks broke in, they found the body of Mr Davies in his third floor flat at the rear of the house where he lived alone.
The former Palatine School pupil was a cashier at the local Morrisons supermarket where he met Kerry Stark, his girlfriend of five months.
Speaking yesterday on Facebook, Ms Stark said the news of Mr Davies' death had been “the hardest day of my life”.
A spokeswoman from West Sussex Fire and Rescue said the cause of the fire was believed to be accidental, and revealed investigators were examining a fuse box in the hallway which may have exploded.
Shocked neighbours spoke yesterday of their horror at the blaze, which left the front of the home a blackened shell.
One neighbour said: “We saw the flames from our flat and saw smoke pouring out the doors and windows.
“Someone was banging on our doors telling us to get out. I didn't look up and I didn't look back - we just wanted to get as far away as we could.
“I can't believe he [Mr Davies] died. He seemed really nice, very pleasant. We always used to smile at each other.”
Another neighbour, 51-year-old Victor Sirick, said: “My cat started running around like crazy and I realised something was wrong.
“There was just black smoke everywhere. The firemen put the fire out very quickly but the smoke kept coming.”
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