“OUR family will never be the same again” – those are the words of a heartbroken relative of a Black Country house fire victim.

Gary Gooding, who worked for his family's Cradley-based business, died after a fire broke out at his home in Blackbrook Road, Netherton, on Friday (December 1).

Emergency services rushed to the mid-terraced house at 6.09am following a 999 call.

The 42-year-old was in cardiac arrest when he was rescued by firefighters, who desperately tried to resuscitate him.

But despite their best efforts, he was confirmed dead at the scene.

Fire investigators believe the blaze, which affected two-thirds of the ground floor, was started by a lithium battery that was on charge.

Shocked friends and neighbours have left flowers outside the house in tribute to Mr Gooding, whose family run EasyGates Ltd, in James Scott Road.

A statement posted on Facebook by his sister, Carly Gooding, in the wake of the tragedy, said: “It's with great sadness that on Friday we lost our brother in a house fire.

“Our family will never be the same again but if we can save another family having to go through this pain, we would like to remind and warn everyone to make sure their smoke alarms are working and also unplug all electricals when they go to bed.”

She also urged people to be cautious when using portable chargers, adding: “We can never bring our brother back but we don't want any more lives lost through this tragic accident.”