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Butterworth - An 86-year-old man was burnt beyond recognition when his shack burnt down in the Khayelitsha informal settlement of Bika Township in Butterworth, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said police were informed that a shack was on fire on Tuesday at about 6pm. When they arrived with fire brigades to extinguish the fire, the man had already died inside his shack.

"The wife of the deceased suspected that a candle might have caused the fire as they have no electricity in the informal settlement. The identity of the deceased will be withheld until all his relatives are officially informed of his death," said Manatha.

An inquest docket has been opened.

African News Agency (ANA)