TRIBUTES have been paid to a former parish councillor and well-known member of the community.

David Porter, who was 79, died following a fire at his home in Thornton-le-Dale last Tuesday.

Born in Hull, Mr Porter was a retired lawyer, who moved to the village in 1991 to look after his parents. He had been a been a parish councillor, but did not stand in the elections earlier this year.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Janet Sanderson, who lives in Thornton-le-Dale, said: “The community were all very shocked and saddened to receive the news about David.

“I have been briefed by Jonathan Foster, the deputy chief fire officer who has asked that I pass on his condolences to the local community, family friends and acquaintances of David.

“David lived alone and was a well-known member of the community having served several terms of office as a parish councillor.

“He was frequently seen walking around the village with his little black terrier who survived the fire.”

Cllr Sanderson said: “The Pickering appliance was first on the scene with support from four other stations.

“I would like to pass on our grateful thanks to all those from the emergency services in attendance.

“Members of the community are understandably upset, but have been given some reassurance from a residents’ letter sent out by the fire service offering advice and help with prevention, which I am told was very positively received and appreciated.

“David dedicated so much of his life to public service in the village and will be missed.

“On behalf of our community I would like to thank David for his time in office.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose lives he touched.”

Cllr John Garbutt, vice-chairman of Thornton-le-Dale Parish Council, said Mr Porter had been a member of the council for more than 20 years.

He said: “He provided a great service to the village and was an ambassador for the older generation as well as everyone else. He is a great loss to our community.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Fire crews were called to reports of a fire at a property in Thornton-le -Dale at around 12.30pm on Tuesday.

“Crews rescued one person from the property who was treated by ambulance crews but was sadly pronounced dead.

“Investigations into the cause of the fire are on-going but it is not believed to be suspicious at this time.”