A cigarette is thought to have caused the death of a 49-year-old man who died in a blaze at his Moldgreen home.

Barnaby Aylward, known as Barney, lost his life in the fire on Old Bank Fold at the bottom of Almondbury Bank.

The tragedy happened shortly after 3am on Monday, September 4.

A report which will be presented to a meeting of West Yorkshire Fire Authority on Friday, December 15, reveals that Mr Aylward “lived alone in a terraced house which he rented from Together Housing. The deceased had mental health issues and was being supported by mental health teams. He was also a smoker.

“On the night of the fire a neighbour was alerted by a smoke detector. The deceased was found on the living room floor. An exact cause could not be established. However, the most likely cause was a carelessly discarded cigarette.”

Neighbour Chris Dwornicki tried to rescue Mr Aylward but was unable to get into the house because of heat and smoke.

In the aftermath of the tragedy neighbours paid tribute to Mr Aylward as a “kind and friendly” man.

Scene of the house fire in Old Bank Fold, Moldgreen
Scene of the house fire in Old Bank Fold, Moldgreen

A family member said: “He was a dedicated friend to many. No-one had a negative word about him.”

A female neighbour added: “He was always smiling and had time for everybody. He was a nice man who I would always chat to because he was so friendly.”

Friends and neighbours posted their tributes on the Examiner’s Facebook page.

Sophie Roberts said: “Me and the kids had the pleasure of meeting Barney who was a kind and friendly person. He will be missed by loads.”

Sherida Hepplestone added: “RIP Barney ... you were a lovely guy. We are all devastated. Thank you for being our friend and being the generous guy you were.”