Murder investigation launched after Michael Griffiths found dead in Fernhurst house (From The Argus)
Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Murder investigation launched after Michael Griffiths found dead in Fernhurst house
A murder investigation has been launched after a 59-year-old man was found dead following a fire.
Michael Griffiths was discovered dead in his home in Old Glebe, Fernhurst, near Petworth, on Thursday at 7.45am.
He was found dead inside by the door of his home by firefighters who were called to the scene.
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley who is leading the investigation said: "When police and fire investigators were able to enter the property, it was established that Mr Griffiths's body had been lying by the front door, blocking entry and forcing firefighters to remove the door to get in.
"On Thursday evening we were advised by our fire service colleagues that there was a suspicious seat of fire near a window in the lounge at the rear of the property.
"Additionally, a couple of windows appeared to have been opened before the fire took hold.
"We are now treating Mr Griffiths's death as suspicious and a murder investigation has now commenced. A post mortem will be carried out in Chichester on Friday afternoon.
"In the meantime, detectives and local police officers and PCSOs will be talking to neighbours and others in the area.
"If you have any information that you feel may be relevant or are concerned about what has happened, please feel free to talk to them."
Neighbours in Old Glebe said they believed Mr Griffiths lived in his parents’ home.
One man said: “He lived alone.
“I wouldn’t exactly describe him as eccentric but he was distinctive.
“He had a handlebar moustache and he wore a cravat.”
At noon yesterday the man said: “There are still four police cars here and there were more yesterday and fire engines.”
A West Sussex Fire and Rescue statement said: “Emergency services were called by neighbours, who were alerted by their smoke alarm, to a fire at a semi-detached house.
“A man who was found in the building by the fire service but was sadly certified dead at the scene soon afterwards “The house was seriously damaged but there was no fire damage to adjoining premises.
“One neighbouring house was affected by smoke but nobody else, other than the deceased, was injured."
Pay tribute to Mr Griffiths below or email email@example.com
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Police release pictures of brothers wanted in connection with Hove shooting
- Albion sex trial jury sent out to consider verdict
- Mayor of Cuckfield fronts High Weald Welly Walk
- Smart return for circus
- M23 northbound near Pease Pottage closed after lorry fire