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Family pay tribute to man who died in house collapse

Written by on October 17, 2021

The family of a man who died in a house fire in Clayton le Woods have today paid tribute to him.

Emergency services were called at around 1.30pm on Friday, October 15 to a report of a suspected explosion where a house had collapsed on Kirkby Avenue.

Sadly, the body of a man was found inside the property, and although a formal identification has yet to take place, it is believed to be the occupant of the house, Carl Whalley.

Mr Whalley, 57, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

In a statement his family said: “Carl was a much loved member of the family, we are all devastated by this tragedy and no amount of time will lessen the pain that we are all going through, he was the centre of our world and it has been ripped apart.”

His daughter Charlotte added: “Everything I do in my life I do to make my Mum and Dad proud. I want to carry on in my Dad’s footsteps and make sure that his legacy lives on forever. He taught me everything I know and my life will never be the same without him.”

A joint investigation into the cause of the incident was launched between Lancashire Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service supported by other partner agencies and is on-going.

While a cordon remains around the property, a number of the surrounding roads have reopened and residents have been able to return to their homes.

Local authority partners are assisting with welfare for residents whose houses are within the closure area still in place on Kirkby Avenue and Claughton Avenue.

DCI Zoe Russo of Lancashire Police said: “First and foremost my thoughts are with Mr Whalley’s family at this deeply distressing time.

“Our investigation into the incident, what we now know was a house fire, is in its early stages and we our working with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and associated partner agencies to establish the cause of the incident.

“I would like to thank the nearby residents for their patience, especially those who have had to be evacuated from their houses.

“I would also appeal to anyone who hasn’t yet spoken to police and has any information they think may assist us in our investigation to please contact us. I would particularly like to hear from anyone who has CCTV of the surrounding area to get in touch.”

A Home Office post-mortem will take place in due course and our enquires are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting log reference 0756 of October 15th. Independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted 0800 555 111.