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Monthly News Bulletin

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Fatal House Fire in Stranraer

A BRAVE neighbour tried in vain to save a 58-year-old man during a house fire in Stranraer on New Year's Day.

After spotting the fire on Murrayfield Avenue at about 5.30 pm, an upstairs neighbour opened the unlocked door of the down stairs block of flats and crawled into the hall — but he was beaten back by smoke and heat.

Minutes later Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue arrived and also attempted unsuccessfully to save the man while battling the blaze with an 11-strong fire fighting team.

It is understood the victim was Martin Bell, although DNA tests were today being carried out to formerly identify the man. His dog also died during the fire.

Supervision Officer Gary Adam said: "One neighbour along with a friend made a decent effort to try to get him out but were held back by intense smoke and flames."

The fire is believed to have started in the sitting room and was brought under control within minutes of the fire fighters arriving.

The police and fire service have launched an investigation.

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