A SMOULDERING cigarette could have sparked an 'intense' fire which killed a Blackpool man at the weekend.

The man, who has not been named, suffered burns and smoke inhalation after flames swept through his Watson Road flat early on Sunday morning.

Crews from South Shore and Blackpool Forest Gate stations were called at around 12.20am after smoke was seen coming from the flat.

They immediately began a search for the man. "By this time the fire had intensified and the crews had to battle through intense heat and thick black smoke," station officer Ian Richards said.

They found the man slumped in the lounge. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Initial investigations by fire service and police officers pointed to the fire being 'a tragic accident'.

"It appears that the man had consumed some alcohol and had fallen asleep on the settee and a discarded cigarette fell and ignited the settee," SO Richards added.

"This is a terrible accident which may have been avoided if smoke detectors had been fitted in the property.

"The crews who attended this fire are deeply saddened by this needless loss of life and wish to remind people that smoke detectors are available free of charge by contacting their local fire station."