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Police probe after man found dead in 'severe' Walsall flat fire as nearby school closed

Police have launched an investigation after a man in his 30s was found dead in a "severe" flat fire in Walsall.

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Fire crew pictured on the scene of the blaze where a man was found dead

Emergency services were called to the scene of the blaze on Wednesbury Road, Walsall, at around 4am on Monday.

The nearby Hillary Primary School on Hillary Street has been closed today due to a "police incident".

A note on the school's website says: "20.11.23 - School is closed to all pupils due to a police incident in the local area."

Police say a man in his 30s was confirmed dead at the scene.

The road has been closed with a police cordon put in place.

Forensic examinations are being carried out at the scene to establish the cause of the fire and how the man died.

Four fire engines crewed by 17 firefighters were called to the blaze shortly before 4.10am on Monday morning.

West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that the fire started in the bedroom of the property and has described it as "severe".

A spokesman for the service said: "This was a severe fire in a first-floor flat, in a two-storey building. The fire started in a bedroom, which was completely affected by fire, whilst the flat below was heavily smoke logged.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire. Very sadly, paramedics confirmed the death of one person found inside the flat where the fire started. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this incident.

"Our crews checked a number of neighbouring properties for fire and smoke spread. One person left the building before we arrived, but was uninjured.

"Wednesbury Road remains closed, with diversions in place. Our fire investigators are at the scene and liaising with West Midlands Police.

"They are being supported by a team from our Technical Rescue Unit, who are ensuring that the building is safe to enter."

West Midlands Ambulance Service also attended the scene of the fire at around 4.18am where paramedics discovered two patients.

A police cordon in place at the scene of the blaze on Wednesbury Road

A spokeswoman for the service, said: "On arrival, ambulance staff discovered two patients.

"One of whom, a man, it sadly quickly became apparent nothing could be done to save and he was confirmed dead at the scene.

"The second patient, a woman, was assessed for the effects of smoke inhalation before being discharged at the scene."

Though the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, those living on Wednesbury Road have spoken of hearing sirens and seeing the flashing lights of emergency vehicles.

One resident, who does not want to be named, said: "At around six o'clock we thought 'why are police here' but we were sleeping at that time in the morning because it was so early. We saw police and flashing lights."

Another resident added that they were "surprised" to hear the sound of sirens on their doorstep.

They said: "We saw police this morning they knocked on the door and we told them we haven't seen anything else.

"I was really surprised when I heard all the noise I was thinking it was some kind of accident."

Anyone with information has been urged to contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat on the force's website or by calling 101 quoting log 371 of 20/11.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the blaze on Wednesbury Road, Walsall, at around 4am on Monday
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