Neighbours battled in vain to save an elderly man who died in a house fire in Tamworth this morning.

The fire broke out in a semi-detached house in Ashby Road just after 1.35am.

But despite the efforts of one neighbour and emergency services, nothing could be done to save the 87-year-old victim.

It is believed the fire started in the living room or kitchen of the home and fire crews were called to the scene by neighbours.

Watch manager Brian Roy, of Tamworth Fire Station, said: “The first call we received came from neighbours.

One of them had had a go at extinguishing the fire in the kitchen with a hand-held extinguisher.

“Our crew had started resuscitation before the ambulance staff got there.

“The living room and kitchen were damaged by fire, heat and smoke and the upstairs by smoke.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said the man had been found in a downstairs bedroom.