Bungalow fire was started deliberately

A WIDOWER died in a fire started deliberately in his Upwood home last week.

The body of 75-year-old Ivan Hempstead was discovered by firefighters in the bedroom of his bungalow on the High Street, shortly after 7.30am on Thursday (August 23).

A joint investigation by police and fire officers concluded that while the fire was started deliberately, the circumstances surrounding it are not suspicious and the death of Mr Hempstead has been passed to the county coroner’s office.

Police cordoned off the High Street, which remained closed for much of the day, while fire fighters tackled the blaze.

Local residents spoke of their shock after Mr Hempstead’s death.

One person living in the High Street, who did not want to be named, said: “It is quite a shock.

“It’s terribly sad and I hope we get a proper explanation about what happened.”

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Another High Street resident said: “I can’t believe it. We’re all wondering what happened.”

Mr Hempstead was believed to have previously been at the centre of a row over land he owned on Longholme Road, which he planned to sell to travellers.

During a Huntingdonshire District Council consultation on suitable sites for permanent pitches for local gypsies, more than 380 Upwood residents objected to the plans for Mr Hempstead’s meadow and the location was ruled out.

However, The Hunts Post has been told that a lot of ill-will still existed against Mr Hempstead.