A pensioner has died after a fire tore through his north-east home.
Emergency crews were called to the blaze at the one-bedroom house on The Leys, Macduff at around 5am yesterday morning.
A 76-year-old, named by police Alexander Smith, died at the scene.
One of the neighbours was evacuated from his home as a precaution and nobody else was injured during the incident.
Three fire engines were sent to the scene of the fire and managed to put out the blaze in around an hour.
Police said there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.
Council workers were at the scene yesterday boarding up the burnt-out windows and fitting a lock on the property.
Scorched debris was left in the front garden of the house which looks out onto the Moray Firth.
Alan Greenlaw was evacuated from his home as a precaution and said he was awoken by a knock at the door.
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The 71-year-old has lived alongside Mr Smith for twenty years and said he could see the blaze as he waited in a nearby vehicle.
Mr Greenlaw said: “I was in my bed and at 5am somebody knocked on my door.
“It was a taxi driver and she said: ‘You’ll have to get dressed and get out because there’s a fire next door.’
“So that’s what I did and the flames were coming out of the window. I just sat in the taxi until I got permission to come in again.
“I thought my house would go up in flames too.
“I kept asking people about Sandy but they either couldn’t me or they wouldn’t tell me.”
Alexander Bruce said his neighbour’s death was a “shock” to the neighbourhood.
He said Mr Smith had a passion for horse racing and kept himself to himself.
Mr Bruce said: “This is a shock.
“He was a quiet person and he was a well known guy.
“Sandy loved his horses and he used to have a butcher shop in Cuminestown.”
Last night, police said their investigation into the blaze was under way.
Detective Inspector Sam Buchan said: “Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this very sad time.
“Our inquiries have started in conjunction with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, however we do not believe there to be any suspicious circumstances.”
A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal in due course.