The family of a man killed in a house fire with his dog are overwhelmed with “sadness and grief”.
Jason Hickinbottom – named today by police – was confirmed dead at the scene of the blaze in Tipton, West Midlands, on Tuesday night along with the pet.
In a heartbreaking tribute, the 51-year-old’s loved ones said: “There are no words that our family can use to describe the sadness and grief we feel at this time.”
A woman in her 30s was rescued from the house by firefighters and taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.
Yesterday, an 18-year-old woman, believed to be known to Mr Hickinbottom, was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and has since been released on bail.
Detective Inspector Adam Jobson, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a traumatic situation for so many people, including neighbours and all emergency services.
“We’re all very grateful for the support and understanding from people in the area.”
“Our investigation is ongoing and the priority now is to support the victim’s family and establish exactly what happened,” he added.
Emergency services attended the severe blaze at the property in Tame Road at around 8.10pm, with two police officers who were passing at the time joining neighbours in trying to help the people who were trapped.
Six fire engines were sent to the scene, which was in the first floor bedroom of the mid-terraced house.
West Midlands Police continues to work with West Midlands Fire Service to establish the exact cause of the fire.
Superintendent Phil Asquith, from Sandwell Police, previously praised the officers who tried to help.
“They bravely went into the address but the intensity of the fire forced them back,” he said.
“This was a traumatic situation for so many people, including neighbours and all emergency services. We’re all very grateful for the support and understanding from people in the area,” he added.
A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service confirmed four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were deployed into the property, to tackle the fire and search for any residents.
Mr Hickinbottom, the woman and dog were all initially rescued from inside within minutes of the fire crews attending.
The woman was taken to Russells Hall hospital by paramedics.
CPR was given to the man and the dog by firefighters and paramedics, but they were both sadly pronounced dead at the scene.