Flat fire victim named but doubts over arson

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DETECTIVES investigating the death of man in a flat fire in Doncaster on Christmas Eve yesterday named the victim, but said they were no longer certain that the blaze was the result of an arson attack.

South Yorkshire Police launched a full-scale inquiry into the fire after officers believed it could have been suspicious, but yesterday said fire service specialists had thrown doubt onto the theory.

Meanwhile they said that the 40-year-old victim, who was found dead alongside his pet dog in the flat on Callender Court, Middleham Road, Cantley, Doncaster was Andrew Masserella, who had lived at the address.

A police spokesman said: “South Yorkshire Police are continuing the police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in Callender Court, Middleham Road, Cantley at around 3.20am on Saturday, December 24.

The spokesman said Mr Masserella’s family were too upset to talk, but added officers were still appealing for anyone who had any information about how the fire may have started to come forward.

Fire investigators from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and forensic experts have completed their investigations at the scene of the fatal flat fire on Christmas Eve. However, police are still treating the incident as unexplained while they wait for the results of further forensic examinations to be confirmed.

Anyone with information that could assist detectives should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 274 of Saturday, 24 December 2011.

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