Sedgefield fire victim thought to be brother of former Hollyoaks actor (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Sedgefield fire victim thought to be brother of former Hollyoaks actor
AN investigation has started into the cause of a fire which killed a man in his home yesterday.
The 45-year-old, named locally as “Lacky” Uppal, died after the blaze in the bedroom of the ground floor flat in Wellgarth Mews, in Sedgefield, County Durham, in the early hours.
Mr Uppal is originally from Middlesbrough and is understood to be the brother of former Hollyoaks actor Stephen Uppal, who played Ravi Roy in the soap from 2008 to 2010. An investigation is ongoing in an effort to discover the cause of the blaze and police are expected to formally identify the victim today.
Messages of condolence were last night being left on “Lacky Lunatic Uppal’s” Facebook page.
The emergency services were called to Wellgarth Mews shortly after 1.45am when a resident in the block of flats reported smelling gas.
Firefighters from Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe and Wheatley Hill arrived to find a fire had broken out and to reports of at least one person being trapped inside.
Within the space of nine minutes, firefighters forced their way inside the flat, extinguished the blaze and carried the man from the building.
One resident, who was woken by the flashing lights, said she was saddened by the news. “It’s awful,” she said. “I did not know him very well, as he kept himself to himself, but he seemed like a nice man.”
While a smoke alarm was found in the property, it did not work, prompting fresh warnings over their importance.
Firefighters also remained in the area all day to offer free fire safety checks.
Incident commander Tony John expressed his deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased. “It is tragic when a person dies in a house fire, which is why it is so important to have a working smoke alarm,” he said. “It doubles your chance of escaping.”
To arrange a home fire safety visit, call 0191-332-4222.
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