AN elderly woman died in a flat fire in the district yesterday morning.

Four fire crews from Bradford, Rawdon and Shipley were called to Branwell Lodge, in Little Park, Apperley Bridge shortly before 7am.

West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Also attended.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “On arrival one bedroom of the maisonette was well alight and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property to search for casualties.

“No one else is thought to have been inside the property at the time of the incident.

“Fire investigators have been at the scene today looking into the cause of the fire.”

Neighbour Tony Greco who lives in a ground floor flat at Branwell Lodge said the first he knew of the fire was when other neighbours woke him by knocking on his door.

“I am not sure what time it was, probably some time after 6am. I then heard an alarm going which I believe was a smoke alarm in the lady’s flat.

“The neighbours told there was a fire in the flat above and that the fire service had been called and were on their way.

“They got here very quickly but sadly the lady in the flat could not be revived.

“The service was here for quite a while afterwards making sure the building was safe.

“I have been here around four years and did not know her that well.

“She was quiet and had suffered from a stroke two or three years ago so was struggling a bit to manage.

“She lost her husband some time last year so lived there on her own.

“It is very sad.

“I am not sure what relatives she has. I think she may have a sister.

“The fire service did a marvellous job and stopped the fire spreading to homes in the rest of the property.

“When I came outside I could see thick, black smoke coming out of the window, which I think may be a lounge window.

“My flat has not been damaged but you can smell smoke from the fire in there.”

Yesterday a property management company which maintains the flats was called out to board up the damaged window at the back of the property and make it safe.

The charred remains of some of the furniture had been brought outside.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said it was a “non-suspicious” incident.

It is expected the coroner will be informed of the death within the next few days.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says it is important to make sure smoke alarms are in good working order at all times.

They suggest making a note of checking them once a month.

The fire service will attended premises free of charge to test that alarms are working and will give free advice on fire safety and smoke alarm fitting so people can protect themselves and their properties. Details of fire safety can be found at: