A man who died in a ground-floor flat fire in Acton “kept himself to himself”, in the property which allegedly had no smoke alarms fitted.

Firefighters were called to the property - a house converted into flats - in Vale Grove, at around 10.50pm, on Sunday (March 22).

They found the man’s body in a ground-floor flat and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another seven people managed to escape the building uninjured before fire crews arrived.

Part of the ground floor was damaged by the blaze and an investigation to determine the cause of the fire has been launched.

The incident was attended by four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers. They had the fire under control by about 11.45pm.

Retired James Dooner, 69, of Vale Grove, said: “We do not know him but he lived there for about eight years.

"He lived there with another man who was apparently on the high street getting a kebab when the fire was going on. When he arrived back the place was on fire.

“That property is converted into four one-bedroom flats."


He added: “The two men who lived there had never spoken to anybody else in this street. I do not know if they even spoke English. I could not tell you exactly where he was from but I would say somewhere in the middle east.

“They kept themselves to themselves, never mixed with anybody in the street. I think they were related.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, told getwestlondon: “I had just come back from holiday, I did not have a clue what happened, I was shocked. I was just told to leave the house at 11pm.

“The first I knew of it was when police were banging on the door and the bell was going like mad.”

Leader of Ealing’s Lib Dems Councillor Gary Malcolm, who lives in the area, said: “The police have been guarding the property ever since which is unusual given no-one is there. They are still doing forensics there.

“There were no fire alarms apparently in the property.”

The councillor added: “The fire service offers free inspections of your property whether you rent or own and I would recommend people take up this offer.”