A home destroyed by fire in Exeter will be demolished as police seek to find an 89-year-old woman who was living at the property.
The elderly woman remains unaccounted for after a blaze tore through her home in the early hours of Friday morning (April 5), bringing down the roof and walls.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the building, which was left unsafe after the fire, will be taken down in a ‘systematic and controlled way’ over the next few days.
The blaze, which broke out in the one-storey property, is believed to be accidental and no one else is being sought in connection, police said.
Detective Inspector Vicky Goff said “Extensive fire damage has been caused to the property and the building remains unsafe. The 89-year -old resident is still unaccounted for.
“In order to locate her, the house will be demolished in a systematic and controlled way over the next few days, with consideration to the family, the local residents and the safety of all.
“A police cordon remains in place.
“This tragic incident appears to be accidental and no one else is sought in connection with it.
“We are working with neighbours and the local community to minimise impact to them.
“The family are being supported by police and our thoughts are with them at this time.”
Firefighters were called to Beacon Heath shortly after 1am and found flames and smoke coming from the windows of the property.
The blaze caused extensive fire damage, resulting in ‘significant’ structural ruin, with the collapse of the roof and partial fall of walls.
The fire service investigation was put on hold after the property was deemed an unstable structure and unsafe to enter.
Fire crews from Exeter, East and Mid Devon worked throughout the night, tackling the blaze.