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Pensioners die in new year blaze

Two pensioners have died in a New Year's Eve house fire despite neighbours' attempts to rescue them.

Around 20 firefighters went to the scene in Ashmead Road, Deptford, south-east London, at around 9.41pm and managed control of the blaze little more than an hour later.

But although two people had tried to enter the house, which was engulfed from the ground floor to the roof, the bodies of a woman in her 80s and a man in his 60s were found inside.

London Fire Brigade station manager Lee Sparks, who was at the scene, said: " Neighbours alerted the brigade when they saw smoke coming from the house.

"Two members of the public entered the house in an attempt to rescue the occupants but were unable to reach them. These two people were treated at the scene by London Ambulance Service."

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the cause of the blaze and a spokesman said officers believed they knew the identities of the dead, but were awaiting formal identification and confirmation that next of kin had been informed.

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