HOMELESS charity St Petroc’s is working with police after a body was found in a burnt out shed near Helston's Coronation Lake.

It is understood to be the body of a man and although identification has yet to take place, with police forced to use DNA testing due to the extent of the injuries, it is feared to be that of a rough sleeper.

Steve Ellis, chief executive of St Petroc’s, which supports the homeless from its headquarters in Truro, told the Packet yesterday: “We do outreach work in the area and know a number of different clients who have been sleeping rough.

“We’ve been working with the police in terms of trying to identify the person. What we have said is that any informa¬ tion we have, as soon as the person is identified we will share it with them and do anything we can to help with the inves¬ tigation.”

He added that everyone was “still in a state of shock”, adding: “It’s so tragic, not just for the individual concerned but for the other rough sleepers in the area and also the peo¬ ple who live nearby. It’s a shock to the local community.”

It is thought that the shed in which the body was found may have had an electrical supply rigged up, although this has not been confirmed as the cause of the fire.

Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel were called out at 10.40pm on Saturday to a fire in woodland behind the lake, where there is an abandoned shed.

When the fire was put out a body was found in the shed.

Tez Rees, another rough sleeper in the town, reportedly attempted to rescue the victim.

He has been quoted as saying that the fire service had to pull him away from the burning shed, as he had been “deter¬ mined” to get the victim out.

Mr Rees added that the victim “never had a chance.”

Police tape surrounded half of the lake on Saturday morning, as the officers and the fire service conducted a joint investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire.

A police spokesman said yesterday: “The joint police and fire investigation has now concluded. We are satisfied that the cause of the fire has been identified and at this time there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

“Police will now prepare a file for the coroner.”

A metal gate leading to the shed has now been heavily padlocked, but abandoned clothes and the burnt remains of a shed can be seen clearly – as well as two gas canisters that appear to have been dragged out of danger.

Eyewitnesses said they saw an orange glow in the area of woods near to an old water wheel, just behind the lake, together with more blue flashing lights than they had ever seen before.

At least two fire engines, an ambulance and more than five police cars could be seen next to the lake.

One woman, who lives near the lake, said: “My son saw a fireman running across with a torch and swearing. He thought there was a big ‘boom’ of orange. I went to bed about midnight and they were still there then. It was just a mass of blue lights – I have never seen so many blue lights in one place.”