Neighbours have described the moments firefighters tried to save a man's life after he was dragged from a house fire.

An elderly man died in the early hours of Saturday morning after a fire broke out in his house in Norbury Crescent.

The victim was rescued by firefighters from his first floor bedroom but later died in hospital.

More than 20 firefighters tackled the blaze which had engulfed a large part of the ground floor.

Neighbours witnessed firefighters unable to break the door down so they had to smash the front window to gain access to the house.

They said flames were not visible bit smoke was coming out of the back of the house.

Firefighters tried to save the man's life and were trying to resuscitate the victim until the ambulance arrived.

Four engines from Norbury and Tooting stations were at the scene from 4.30am and were there for most of the day.

Linas Benesevicius, 39, said he could smell the smoke from his flat a few doors down even though the windows were shut.

He said: "I could smell the smoke and hear the noise of the fire engines that is what woke me up.

"I saw them get him out and they were trying to help him but obviously it didn't work out.

"I didn't know him but it is a sad thing to happen."

Another neighbour, who didn't want to be named, said it was a dreadful night.

She said: "I woke up as the noise and flashing lights were so loud.

"It was dreadful. You could see the smoke and apparently it started downstairs.

"The firefighters tried to break the door down but they couldn't for whatever reason so they smashed the window.

"It was terrible and very sad. I feel very sorry for his family."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.