A heartbroken neighbour has paid tribute to an elderly couple who died in a house fire in Holmer Green in the early hours of this morning, saying they were her best friends.

Emergency services were called out to reports of a fire on the first floor of a two-storey, end-of-terrace house in Skimmers Close at around 4am today (Monday).

The couple, locally named as Brian and Eileen Hazell, were rescued but sadly pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Neighbour Sandy Webb said she had known the couple for more than 10 years and had often looked after their house and cats when they visited their sons in Australia.

She said: “It's so sad – they were my best friends.

“I can’t believe they’ve gone, both of them. I’m so shaken.”

Commenting on Facebook, former neighbour Richard Drake said: “I used to live two doors down from them, some of my family are still on that road.

“They were really good neighbours – I will miss them.”

Deputy chief fire officer Mick Osborne said: “Upon arrival, firefighters were faced with a serious fire on the first floor, and it was made clear that there may be people trapped inside.

“An elderly man and woman were quickly rescued by crews wearing breathing apparatus in extremely challenging conditions, but very sadly both were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and the community.

“The cause of the fire is not yet known but at this early stage we believe there are no suspicious circumstances.

“A joint investigation with Thames Valley Police is underway to establish exactly what happened.”

Police said formal identification hasn't taken place yet but their next of kin have been informed.   

Detective Inspector Simone Marples, of High Wycombe CID said: “At this early stage, we believe there are no suspicious circumstances, and we are liaising with Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the cause of the fire.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those involved at this difficult time.”

Bucks Fire confirmed crews will be returning to the area throughout the day to "provide reassurance and offer safety checks to the local community".

Firefighters used a main jet, two hose reels and four sets of breathing apparatus.

Did you know Brian and Eileen? Leave a tribute by emailing shruti.sheth@london.newsquest.co.uk or call 01494 755082.