Man who died in Northamptonshire village blaze named

Body of 71-year-old discovered in burning shed in Middleton Cheney last month

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:19 am

An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of a 71-year-old man whose body was found in a blazing shed in a Northamptonshire village last month.

Coronor Anne Pember heard at a hearing in Northampton today (July 29) that Nicholas Frank Haynes died on June 9 in Middleton Cheney.

The inquest was adjourned until January 6, 2022.

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The scene of the blaze.

Firefighters are believed to have discovered Mr Haynes' body after answering 999 calls to a shed fire in in the village.

Detectives initially launched a murder investigation but were stood down after forensic investigations confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

Residents living in Salmons Lane told how they saw large plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky.

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "I don't know the people who live there as they live a bit further up the road but we saw the smoke rising into the sky.

The fire happened in Middleton Cheney.

"I was out doing my garden and there was ever such a weird smell, it doesn't bear thinking about that it might have been a burning body.

"I know a few people including the landlady of the local pub called the fire brigade and they were here very quickly.

"The next thing I know the place is swarming with police and to hear the gentleman has died is extremely sad indeed."

Another elderly neighbour added: “You just don’t expect it to happen in your village.

The inquest has been adjourned to a later date.

“It’s crazy! I’ve lived here for so long and I just didn’t expect to hear about it being so close to home.

“I was sat outside in my garden all of Wednesday afternoon and the first thing I knew something was wrong and had happened was when I heard all of the sirens.

"I always walk down that close on my afternoon walk and the houses are lovely.

“I’ve lived in the village all my life and you just don’t believe that something like that would happen."

Officers cordoned off the street of stonewashed houses and cottages following the fire while armed police and forensic officers could also be seen entering the address before leaving with boxes of evidence.

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "All I saw was the thick smoke there was such a lot so I just closed all of my windows and doors to stop it getting in."