A man found dead following a ferocious house fire in Leeds had been stabbed, police have revealed.
The body of John Campbell, 75, was pulled from the wreckage of his home on Bawn Vale, Farnley, following a huge blaze in the early hours of Tuesday. (March 5)
West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team is now trying to establish how the widower came to suffer the injury.
Det Chief Insp Neil Lineham said: “The presence of the knife wound obviously raises questions but we don’t know at this stage whether that was self inflicted or caused by another person.
“We are treating Mr Campbell’s death as unexplained and are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances.
Fire crews were called to Mr Campbell’s home shortly before 4am on Tuesday following a 999 call from a neighbour.
The fire left the house severely structurally damaged and when police and fire investigators were eventually able to enter the property they found Mr Campbell’s badly burned body inside.
The knife wound was discovered during his post mortem.
CCTV showed Mr Campbell visited the Sainsbury’s Local store on the ring road at Farnley shortly after 7.30am the day before his death to buy newspapers and milk.
A retired sheet metal worker, Mr Campbell was originally from Scotland and had lived at Bawn Walk alone since the death of his wife Betty in 1992.
Police now want to build up a picture of his movements before the fire and have appealed for more information lifestyle, friends and daily habits.
Det Chief Insp Lineham added: “Mr Campbell lived alone and his next of kin live in Scotland so we are keen to speak to anyone who knows if he had any friends locally and what his daily habits were.
“I would ask anyone who can assist us to get in touch as soon as possible.”
The cause of the fire remains unconfirmed as fire investigators continue to pick through the wreckage of the house.
Anyone with information should contact the homicide and major Enquiry team via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.