A MURDER investigation is underway after a man died following a fire in Skelmersdale.
Police were called at around 1am on Thursday, September 26 by the Ambulance Service after reports of a fire at a property in Waverley.
Officers attended and found the homeowner, 48-year-old Robert Beattie, at the scene with serious burns. Mr Beattie was taken to hospital for treatment but died on Thursday, October 10.
A post mortem examination will take place in due course to try to establish a cause of death.
Detectives believe the victim was doused in some form of accelerant when he answered the door of his property, before being set on fire in a targeted attack.
Six men have previously been arrested by police in connection with the investigation and enquiries are on-going.
A 35-year-old man from Liverpool and a 32-year-old man from Skelmersdale were arrested on suspicion of wounding, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life. They have been bailed to Monday, October 28.
A 22-year-old man from Liverpool was arrested and bailed to Monday, October 28, with a 31-year-old man from Liverpool arrested and bailed to Tuesday, October 29. Both were arrested on suspicion of wounding, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.
A fifth man, also aged 31 and from Liverpool, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and later released with no charge.
A sixth man, aged 36, from Liverpool, was arrested on suspicion of wounding, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life. He was later released on bail until Tuesday, October 29.
DCI Pauline Stables of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This is tragic news and our thoughts remain with Mr Beattie’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. While we have made a number of arrests, our enquiries are very much ongoing and we have a number of detectives working on this investigation. If you have any information at all that could help and haven’t contacted us already please get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log 0068 of September 26.
Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org