VIDEO: Tributes to Doncaster pensioner killed in house fire

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Doncaster residents have paid tribute to a ‘kind and caring’ 87-year-old man who died in a tragic house fire.

Neighbours spoke of their shock at the scene in Stonehill Rise, Scawthorpe, following the death of the pensioner, named locally as Walter Robert Pickard.

The scene of the fire in Stonehill Rise, Scawthorpe, Doncaster.

The scene of the fire in Stonehill Rise, Scawthorpe, Doncaster.

An investigation into the cause of the fire, which occurred at around 6.30am today (Monday March 28) is underway.

Maureen Stevenson, who lives next door to Mr Pickard – known to friends as Bob – said the whole street is in a state of shock.

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She added: “I heard the sound of breaking glass and could see smoke through the kitchen window and flames around the back of Bob’s house. The first thing we did was phone 999.

“The grandkids were here so we all got up and evacuated the property as we were worried it might explode.

“We could see the fire at the back of the house, we knew it was something very serious.

“We are all in a state of shock and so upset. Bob was a kind and caring person and a lovely neighbour.

“We all looked out for each other on the street and we would always call round and see Bob.”

Mrs Stevenson said she had seen Mr Pickard, who lives at the property alone, just the day before the blaze.

She added: “He had been out for Easter dinner and we’d called round to give him some Easter eggs, he was on good form.”

The detached bungalow was well alight when crews arrived.

The roof of the house was largely destroyed in the blaze, with the property still cordoned off yesterday afternoon with police officers standing guard.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and attempted to rescue the elderly man.

Crews used hose reels to extinguish the fire.

Three fire engines from Doncaster, Adwick and Dearne stations attended the incident.