The charred remains of a man were found lying in a bungalow after flames ripped through the building rendering it a smouldering ruin.
More than 30 firefighters fought flames engulfing the bungalow which had also spread to the property next door in north Cornwall.
Locals last night named the man as middle-aged Alan Oxley who lived alone at the property at St Breward, near Bodmin.
Police have yet to officially release the name of the man.
It is thought the fire started after a chip pan was left on the stove.
The dead man's mother lives in the area and was treated at the scene by paramedics for shock.
Graham Lusby, chairman of St Breward Parish Council said the community had been left "shocked and saddened" by the death.
He said: "We're a small community with between 800 and 900 residents so a tragedy like this has upset us all.
"Our sympathies and thoughts are with this poor man's family."
The disaster happened on Friday night after both properties went up in flames at around 6.40pm.
Fire crews were drafted in from Delabole, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Launceston.
Such was the ferocity of the fire that the roofs of the bungalows collapsed.
Yesterday, the buildings remained cordoned off as police and fire chiefs jointly continued to investigate the cause of the blaze. A spokesman for the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said by the time crews arrived at the scene the buildings were all ready well alight.
He said: "Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus initially used two main jets and a high pressure hose reel at the scene.
"At approximately 7pm on Friday the main fire had been extinguished but crews remained on site throughout the night damping down, the occupant of the premises at this time was still unaccounted for. Later in the evening a body was confirmed found at the scene."