A man died after a fire swept through a flat in Finchley in the early hours of Sunday.

The victim, believed to be in his 50s, was found in the lounge after firefighters were called to Gordon Road at 2.33am.

Three crews with breathing apparatus battled for 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control, which caused considerable damage to the five-bedroom building.

Police are not releasing the man's name until next of kin have been informed. There are unconfirmed reports that he was a psychiatric patient. A spokesman said inquiries were under way and the death was being treated as suspicious.

A post mortem was held at Finchley Mortuary on Tuesday.

The victim did not appear to be well-known in the street and was regarded as something of a loner.

One neighbour said: "He looked very, very feeble.

"Sometimes he would be out walking in his pyjamas. I always thought I should go and ask him if he wanted any shopping done," she said. "I never did and I feel bad about that."

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