Police are still investigating the circumstances of a fatal fire in Bottesford on Sunday afternoon.
A forensics team is at the scene in Grantham Road in Bottesford where a fire broke out in a cottage and spread to the two houses on either side causing considerable damage.
The body of a woman was found in the cottage where the fire broke out, but police say at this stage they cannot confirm whether she died as a result of the fire. The woman has been identified locally as Lesley Grice.
Emergency services were called to the scene at 1.50pm on Sunday. Grantham Road remains closed with diversions in place as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile villagers have been pulling together to help those people who have had to leave their homes after they were damaged by the fire. One man and two women have had to leave their homes and a collection of clothes, furniture and food has been organised by Lynn Busby.
Maria Pride, who owns Zaro’s cafe in Queen Street, says people have been bringing their donations to the cafe.
Maria told the Journal: “We have been inundated with clothes and furniture. It has been a shock and we are all very sad because we have lost a member of our community. But it is a fabulous community and everybody has been pulling together.”
Neighbours close the site of the fire said they were shocked and saddened. Jeremy Hazelden, who lives in Fleming Avenue, behind the row of cottages, described the fire as horrendous. He took some photos of firefighters tackling the blaze. He said: “The photos are quite poignant because you can see the flames and all the smoke. It looks like the middle cottage has got most of the damage, but the roofs are linked and the fire has clearly leapt across. The photos show the back of Gavin’s house and show the flames coming up through the roof.”
Mr Hazelden said the woman who died was “a bit of a character”.
A couple who also live in Fleming Avenue were returning home on a walk when they saw the fire. One of them said: “We were coming back and we saw this thick black smoke. I think there were three fire engines at this point. There was also an ambulance with a stretcher. We did not know the lady but I think some of the older community knew her well.”
A woman who lives on Grantham Road told the Journal: “Everybody is saddened by what has happened. People are upset and there are a lot of rumours going around.”
Fire crews from Grantham as well as Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire tackled the fire on Sunday.
Ian Woods, deputy divisional commander for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Two crews from Grantham demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism, dedication and commitment, at what was a highly dynamic and rapidly developing fire situation.
“This was probably one of the hottest and most intense house fires I have been to for many years, and whilst the incident was tainted by the death of a member of the public, the work carried out by both crews significantly reduced the impact on both of the adjoining properties, and the village as a whole.”