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Shock as elderly woman dies in Findon Valley fire
An elderly woman died in her bedroom after a fire ripped through her bungalow yesterday (March 18).
A neighbour raised the alarm after seeing flames and smoke in the single-storey property in Lime Tree Avenue in Findon Valley, Worthing.
More than 20 firefighters worked to tackle the blaze but they were unable to rescue the woman, who was in her 90s.
With crews still at the scene more than six hours after it broke out the cause of the fire still remained a mystery last night. However, police said they were not treating the fire as suspicious.
Ron Merriman, the chairman of Findon Valley Residents’ Association, said: “Everybody is upset. We’re quite a close community around here.
“Until we find out what caused it there’s not much we can do.
“It’s a quiet area. I can’t remember anything like this happening while I have been living here.
“It’s quite worrying.”
Search for woman
The alarm was raised at about 2.40am yesterday with fire teams from Worthing, Lancing and Bognor in attendance.
A spokeswoman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines from Worthing were at the scene within minutes.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus began a search of the property and found the woman in a rear sitting room, which she is believed to have used as a bedroom.
Crews remained on the scene throughout the night before leaving at about 9.20am.
The bungalow was severely damaged.
A spokesman from Sussex Police said: “The body of an elderly woman, believed to be the sole occupant, was found in the address.
“At this early stage the death is being treated as unexplained.”
Investigators from both Sussex Police and West Sussex Fire and Rescue were working yesterday to discover the cause of the blaze.
Last night Sussex Police said they were not able to release the name of the victim as the next of kin had not yet been informed.
Arrangements for a post-mortem have not yet been made.
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