Dewsbury: 'Rocket Ronnie' in fire tragedy

A popular Dewsbury character has died after a blaze ripped through his home on Christmas Day.

Arthur Newton, known to his friends as Rocket Ronnie, is believed to have been overcome by smoke before fire crews could reach him.

The blaze broke out at around 3.45am after neighbours raised the alarm and tried to break the door to his flat down.

The 69-year-old, pictured, of Chidswell Gardens, Shaw Cross, collapsed as he headed to the door with his keys.

It is thought he had eaten supper but left the stove on when he went to bed.

Mr Newton's sister Margaret Law said: "Ronnie was always joyful and he'd be sad to think he had spoiled anyone's Christmas.

"It's sad that with so much life to live he was taken in such an awful way."

Mr Newton was a familiar face at Hanging Heaton Cricket Club and was an active member of Dewsbury Collegians.

Cricket club president Mel Dearden said: "We were all really shocked at the tragic death of Rocket Ronnie.

"He was one of the best known local character- a true charmer."