Investigators are trying to piece together the final movements of an allotment holder found dead in his burning shed.
Firefighters discovered the man’s body as they tackled a blaze engulfing a number of sheds at the Fuel Land allotments, in East Finchley High Road, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Police say they are not currently treating the death as suspicious but several plots remained sealed off this morning while fire investigators continued their work.
A post mortem is due to take place later today but it is thought officers will need to wait for DNA tests before the man can be formally identified.
Allotment holder Luis Rado said the man, who is believed to be married and in his 60s, would come down to the land about once a week.
The 65-year-old, who has kept a plot at the large rural site for 14 years, said: “He seemed like a nice, friendly guy - I would often say hello to him. We’re a close community here and everyone is in shock.
“We’re struggling to work out what happened – it is so sad.”
Allotment holders regularly sleep in the large potting sheds in the summer but neighbours said it was rare for any to do so in cold winter months.
Large gates to the private site are usually locked to non-members and detectives are still trying to establish why the man was at the allotments late on Monday.
A management committee that oversees the plots has been informing members of the incident.
It remains unclear whether the fire caused the man’s death and London Fire Brigade confirmed today it was still working to establish how the fire started.
One allotment holder, who did not want to be named, said he was stunned by news of the incident.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: “It is not a nice thing to hear at all and you would never think someone would be found dead here. It is such a tragic thing to happen.”