A vicar has described the "indispensible" contribution to the community made by a man found dead after a fire on Friday morning.

Reverend David Houghton of St Mark's Church in St Andrew's Road, Surbiton, said 57-year-old Kevin Hall had been much-loved by members of his congregation since he appeared at the church.

Mr Hall was found dead in his council flat above the Fircroft charity shop after a fire on Friday morning at about 7.50am.

Rev Houghton said: "Kevin really just appeared on the scene and was incredibly helpful in his own way of caring for the garden and doing various jobs around the garden of the church which he did in his own free time with his own equipment.

"Over the summer and autumn last year he was really indispensible in keeping the gardens of the church.

"When I moved into the vicarage he did the same for me.

"There were a few people in the church that really loved him.

"He did come to the occasional unusual service in the church like festival things like carol services.

"There's one person who was checking on him until the last week or so and she was extremely distressed because she wasn't able to see him.

"He either wasn't there or wasn't answering the door."

Revd Houghton said the first thing he knew about a fire was when someone came in on Friday morning to a prayer meeting and asked for prayers for someone who 'may have been injured in an explosion'.

He said the church would like to be involved in any funeral service held for Mr Hall.

Did you know Mr Hall? Contact the newsdesk on 0208 744 4244 or email dlindsell@london.newsquest.co.uk

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