A PENSIONER died in a fire which ravaged his home in the early hours of the morning.
Firefighters kicked down the door of the house in Burnley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, where they discovered the body of Stanley Blackburn, 74, in the first-floor bedroom.
The blaze, which tore through the living room, is thought to have been started by an electrical fault caused by water overflowing from a running bath.
A member of the fire crew which fought the blaze said the fire had been burning for at least eight hours before they were called by a neighbour at 7.15am last Thursday.
Mr Blackburn was pronounced dead at the scene and was thought to have died from smoke inhalation.
His sister, Kathleen Lawrence, 64, said he enjoyed watching sport on the television, betting on horses and travelling all over the North West on his bus pass.
A former labourer, Mr Blackburn spent most of his working life at Whitewell Dairies in Stanley Street, Accrington, before moving to Escorts pickle factory in Oswaldtwistle.
He also worked at Littlewoods factory in Oswald-twistle before he retired and he was a member of Clayton-le-Moors Conservative Club, Spring Hill and Pioneer Working Men's Clubs and the Buckingham Bingo Club in Preston.
Mick Frankland, group manager for Hyndburn Fire Station, said: "Three fire crews were called to the house after a neighbour reported smelling smoke coming through the wall into her home and they were told that somebody might be inside.
"We kicked down the front door, tackled the fire and did a quick search of the property where we found a gentleman upstairs.
"The man had started to run himself a bath and we are not sure if he was overcome by smoke or if he perhaps felt ill and went back into his bedroom."
He added: "We are treating it as an accidental fire. The overflowing bath may have affected the electrics which started the fire.
"There was no smoke detector in the house. If he had had a detector installed upstairs, the alarm may have woken him up and allowed him to escape unharmed."
Neighbour John Cartwright said: "I only knew him in passing. He was always friendly but he kept himself to himself.
"I woke up this morning and smelled smoke. It was all a bit of a shock."
Mr Blackburn also leaves brother-in-law Gerard and nephews and nieces.
An inquest into his death was opened on Tuesday.
The funeral will be held today at Accrington Crematorium.
Father Lawrence Carson-Featham is officiating and Hyndburn Funeral Services are carrying out the arrangements.