A floral tribute has been laid outside a house in St Neots where a man died in a fire on Sunday morning.

The man, who is thought to be aged in his sixties and retired, was rescued from the house in Hen Brook by fire-fighters, but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fire-fighters forced their way into the property and using thermal imaging equipment discovered the man downstairs near the back door. The fire started in a downstairs cupboard and the cause of the blaze is thought to be electrical.

Neighbours reported hearing a loud bang which one described as sounding "like a gunshot" and alerted the emergency services.

One man, who lives in Fairfax Court, which is about 500 yards away, said: "I was just getting ready to go out and I heard this loud bang, which sounded like a gunshot."

Another, a woman who lives in Hen Brook, said she heard a "terrific bang" and what sounded like a drilling noise.

"I woke my husband and I asked him to go round and check on the man as I knew he lived on his own. I could also smell a burning smell. My husband knocked on the door and shouted through the letterbox but we couldn't make him hear so we called 999."

The neighbour said she did not know the victim well as he was a very private person.

"He has probably lived here about two years and he was a very nice, quiet man, but he liked to keep himself to himself and we respected that."

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service were out in the area on Monday afternoon handing out advice leaflets on electrical safety.

A fire service spokesman said: "A fire investigation determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, by electrical."