Holland Park fire victim pictured: tragedy as pensioner, 70, dies alongside his dog in blaze

A 70-year-old man was killed alongside his dog when fire swept through luxury flats in Holland Park near the homes of the Beckhams, Robbie Williams and Simon Cowell.

Peter Cornes is understood to have died along with his pet Missy in the blaze that engulfed his first-floor apartment.

More than 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines battled the flames for four hours before it was brought under control at 2am. At least eight neighbouring homes were evacuated. 

Mr Cornes is understood to have worked as a civil servant in the Sixties, as an IT systems analyst when a “small computer was the size of a suburban house”. 

Peter Cornes, 80, is believed to have died in the fire ()

He later set up a home computer report business run from his home in the affluent west London area.

Paramedics tried to save him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jessica Lemaitre, 35, said: “He was such a nice man, very chatty and friendly. He would let my six-year-old daughter play with his dog Missy.

Fire crews raced the scene (NIGEL HOWARD)

“He was always working, doing mechanical things to his car. The paramedics did great things, they tried non-stop but it was too late.” 

Jennifer Crago, who lives next door, described an enormous “fireball” bursting from the window.

The 40-year-old, who works in international development, said: “I heard a window smash and someone screaming. 

“I looked from my bedroom and saw there were just orange flames pouring out of the window. The firefighters were amazing and were outside before I even knew about it. It’s such a shame but it’s a miracle more people weren’t hurt.”

Holland Park fire

Holland Park Gardens is part of the Holland Park neighbourhood, where luxury apartments can sell for more than £2 million and where David Cameron, Williams and Cowell have homes.

George Nicolas, who lives opposite the flats, said on Twitter that the fire appeared to have spread to the second floor of the building before being contained.

The cause of the blaze at the four-storey converted house is now being investigated. 

One dead as 80 firefighters tackle huge apartment blaze in west London

A fire brigade spokesman said: “Twelve fire engines and around 80 firefighters and officers were called to a fire at a house converted into flats in Holland Park Gardens in Holland Park last night.

“Part of a first-floor flat was damaged by fire. A second-floor flat was also damaged by fire. Sadly one man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Another man was found dead alongside his dog after a fire in his north London flat yesterday morning. Gerard Maguire, 56, was discovered by emergency workers in Hornsey Rise Gardens, Islington at 5.30am.

Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/holland-park-fire-victim-pictured-tragedy-as-pensioner-80-dies-alongside-his-dog-in-blaze-a3760526.html