UPDATE 9:40am: Neighbours of an elderly man who died in a central city blaze have described him as a quiet chess-lover who kept to himself.
The 89-year old man died after a fire started in his second-storey unit in East Perth shortly before midnight last night.
The blaze is thought to have started in the kitchen, Arson Squad Det Sgt David Gorton said.
Firefighters were called to the Terrace Rd unit block shortly before midnight to reports of smoke and a fire alarm.
The flames were largely extinguished when they arrived, Det Sgt Gorton said.
The man is thought to have been woken by the alarm but became overcome by smoke, Det Sgt Gorton said.
Arson Squad are investigating whether the blaze was sparked by an electric bar heater or other heat sources in the kitchen.
One of the three-storey red brick apartment block's residents, who asked not to be named, said the elderly occupant was quiet but loved chess.
Friends visited him to play chess with the resident in his sparsely-furnished two-bedroom unit, the resident said.
The deceased was alone at the time of the fire and his neighbors, mainly in their twenties, believed he had lived alone in the rented unit for at least 20 years.
Shakti Sharma, who lived in the unit below the man, said he was temporarily evacuated last night but allowed to return after the fire was quickly brought under control.
"I was sleeping around 11:30pm at night and came out and saw there was a lot of smoke from that apartment," Mr Sharma, 24, said.
"It was really scary just this bang, bang bang, because my unit is below that one, so i was kind of hearing a lot of this thumping noise."Arson Squad were this morning working to ascertain the cause of the fire but it is not being treated as suspicious, Det Sgt Gorton said.