VIDEO: Family of father-of-two killed in Sheffield house fire claim 'gas explosion' could have sparked blaze
The heartbroken family of a father-of-two killed in a house fire claim a gas explosion could have sparked the blaze.
Relatives named the victim as Ibrahim Ahmed, aged in his mid 50s, who died after a fire broke out at a property in Buckenham Street, Burngreave, just before 6pm yesterday.
An investigation has been launched and the cause has not been established yet but Mr Ahmed's cousin claimed it is thought a gas explosion sparked the blaze.
The mum, who did not want to be identified, said: "I got a call from a family member saying 'Ibrahim is dead'. I couldn't believe it.
"Police told my cousin that they believe a gas explosion could have caused it but we don't know for sure yet. It is terrible.
"His wife is suffering from shock. She is in an awful state and is being cared for in hospital at the moment. Her mind is all over the place."
She told how Mr Ahmed moved to the UK from Somalia several years ago and has two children, a boy and a girl. He suffered a stroke last year and was receiving support from carers.
She said: "He was a really nice person and loved his children. They are in shock and heartbroken."
Earlier neighbours described the dramatic moment firefighters smashed into the burning home to pull Mr Ahmed out.
Janet Lester told how she was playing with her three great-grandchildren at her home next door when they started to smell acrid smoke.
The 75-year-old, who herself had a lucky escape when firefighters were called to put out a chip pan blaze at her home last September, said: "I went outside and saw thick black smoke billowing out of the windows. I went up and shouted 'Is anyone in there?' but there was no response.
"We called the fire services and they had a bit of trouble getting in through the door so they smashed a window and pulled him out through there.
"I saw them performing CPR on him. I just fell to pieces at that point."
Another resident Lynda Nelson, aged 82, said: "I saw all the blue flashing lights when the firefighters were there. It was all quite dramatic.
"It's an awful thing to happen."
Residents were evacuated from their homes for about 30 minutes while firefighters put the blaze out. A police cordon has been in place since yesterday evening.
The victim has not yet been formally identified by emergency services.
Officially the cause of the blaze is not yet known.
South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have launched a joint investigation.
The bungalow is thought to be owned by the local authority.
A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said the authority did not want to comment at this time.