The death of Notting Hill pensioner Gladstone Robinson in a house fire is being investigated.
A charred mattress and a burning candle mark the flat in Colville Terrace, Ladbroke Grove, in which the 77-year-old died on Tuesday night.
Fire crews had been called to his basement flat at 10pm to battle a blaze and found his body when the blaze was brought under control.
Neighbour Jonathan Lockwood, who lived beside Mr Robinson for six years, had noticed the burned mattress at the back of the property. He said: "I saw the burnt-out carcass of a mattress in the back garden, so I presumed the worst. He was a big guy - friendly, and quite off the wall."
Father-of-three Mr Lockwood added that the pensioner liked to smoke and used to sleep during the day and watch TV at night.
He was believed to have a big family, with a daughter and grandson who were frequent visitors.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the day after the fire that he had heard a woman crying in the street. It is believed that a candle burning in the front garden of the basement flat had been lit for the dead man.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.