A MAN died following a five-hour stand-off with police in Burnley.

The man had poured petrol over himself and was threaten- ing to set it alight inside his home in Emily Street, Burnley Wood.

About 60 houses were evacuated and police cordoned off the road and the top of neighbouring Hollingreave Road as a negotiator tried to talk the man out of the property.

Gas and electricty supplies were also cut to minimise the risk of an explosion if the petrol caught fire.

Fire crews from Burnley, Padiham and Nelson were called to the scene along with ambulance and police at 2.55pm on Saturday afternoon.

The man, who is understood to be in his forties but has not yet been named, was taken by ambulance to Royal Blackburn Hospital at 7.20pm where he died a short time later.

Police said that he had not set himself alight, but a cause of death was still to be established.

A police spokesman said: “When officers arrived they discovered a man who had poured petrol on himself inside the property and was threatening to set it alight.

“A number of nearby properties had to be evacuated due to the amount of petrol fumes and police were also able to isolate electric and gas supplies.

“Around 7.20pm a man in his 40s was eventually removed from the property and was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he sadly died.

“An investigation is now underway and a post mortem will be carried out to establish the cause of the death.

“The residents who were evacuated were taken to the Sure Start Centre, in nearby Brunswick Street, where they were looked after until they could return to their properties later on Saturday night.”

A spokesman from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Four appliances from Burnley, Nelson and Padiham attended the scene after receiving a call at about 3pm.

“They were on stand by for a number of hours before they entered the property at about 8pm to make it safe using four breathing apparatus and two hose reels.

“The last unit left at 9pm.”

An Emily Street resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Police came at about 2.30pm and knocked on the door saying we had to evacuate the house immediately in case of an explosion.

“We had to leave everything turned on and just go.

“One of our neighbours have a small baby and they didn’t even have time to get anything out of the house for her, they had to ask other people who hadn’t been told to leave their houses for baby food.”

A spokesperson for The National Grid said that gas was turned off at the house for safety reasons.