THE FAMILY of a popular businessman who died in a house fire last Thursday have paid tribute to the “fantastic guy”.

Dave Herricks, aged 52, was part-owner of taxi firm Magnum Whiteline, and had recently moved to a home in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe.

He died after a fire started in the property late at night causing the building to fill with smoke.

His brother Rob, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “Dave was a fantastic guy. A devoted father, grandfather, loving son and without doubt the best brother you could wish for.

“He was a genuine, mischievous and fun-loving guy, and generous to a fault.

“Words cannot describe the utter devastation felt by his family at this time and nothing will ever fill the void left by him.

“Our hearts are broken. God bless you Dave and rest in peace.”

Mr Herricks was born in Irlam, but lived around Bury for most of his life.

He started out as a taxi driver but worked his way up and made enough money to become a partner in the firm.

He then helped Magnum Whiteline to grow into one of the areas biggest taxi companies.

His family said he had only recently moved into the end terrace property where the fire began and had been in the process of renovating the home.

The blaze was believed to have started in the living room, although the cause is not yet known.

Diane Holt, who lives in the property next-door, heard a faint beeping sound just after 11.30pm, but did not realise it could have been a smoke alarm.

She went to sleep and woke up again at around 12.30 to see her room had filled with smoke.

Steven Holt, who lives with his sister in the house, said: “At that point my room and the upstairs of our house was full of smoke. We went outside and we didn’t see any flames but there were plumes of smoke.”

Another neighbour added: “I got woken up by all the sirens outside. You could tell it was bad straight away because the roof was just covered in smoke.”

Fire crews were then called at 12.40 and three fire engines from Bury and Whitefield stations attended the scene, alongside police officers and ambulance personnel.

Following the incident, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “At around 12.55am on Friday 1 June 2018, police were called by the fire service to a house on Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, to reports of a fire.

“Emergency services attended and the body of a man was sadly found in the property.

“Enquiries into the man’s death and the cause of the fire are ongoing with officers from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.”

Muhammed Javed, who works in the Premier convenience store in Dumers Lane, said he had met Mr Herricks on a number of occasions since he moved into the home.

The day after the fire, he said: “He came in regularly, in fact, he came in yesterday. He was a very nice guy so it’s very sad.”

The full details of any funeral or memorial service for Mr Herricks have not been finalised.