Inquiry after elderly couple die in house fire

A JOINT police and fire service investigation has been launched into the cause of a fatal fire that claimed the lives of an elderly couple.

Named locally as William Ogilvie, 69, and his wife Jessie, 66, they died on Sunday when fire swept through their bungalow in Tillyfar Gardens, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

The fire, which had started in the kitchen, had burned itself out by the time firefighters were called to the scene. It is undertook the emergency services were alerted after a carer called at the house and found it filled with smoke.

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Yesterday, as police and fire service investigators awaited the results of port-mortem examinations, police said the fire was not being treated as a suspicious.

A spokesman for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service said: "The fire was located in the kitchen area of the property and crews made the scene safe. Unfortunately, two elderly residents of the property were found dead.

"There had been an established fire in the kitchen and it had burned itself out. We have a positive line of inquiry and we will be working with the police to confirm the precise cause."

A spokesman for Grampian Police confirmed the fire was being treated as "non-suspicious". He said " Next of kin have been contacted and names will be released following formal identification and post-mortems. As is normal in such circumstances, a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal."

He added: "The incident occurred at approximately 1:30pm on Sunday. Anyone who may have information or may have witnessed the fire is asked to call Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700."

Neighbours described Mr and Mrs Ogilvie as a "lovely couple". One said: "Everyone is just stunned. This is such a quiet area where nothing happens. It was alarming to look out and see so much police activity. Our hearts go out to the couple's family."

One former neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "They kept themselves to themselves. I didn't know them too well because they were so private."