Police investigating a fatal fire in Houghton-le-Spring have confirmed they are treating the incident as a suspected homicide.
Detectives launched an investigation following the death of Patryk Mortimer, 39, who died in a blaze which started at his address on High Street, Easington Lane, in the early hours of Saturday, November 3.
Nine residents who resided there were helped to safety by firefighters. However, Patryk was found unconscious inside the building and was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.
Forensic analysts carried out enquiries at the scene throughout last week and an investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector John Bent, of Northumbria Police, said: “The investigation into Patryk’s death has entered a second week and we remain committed to determining how this tragic incident occurred.
“Our thoughts remain with Patryk’s family and friends, who are understandably devastated by their loss. They will continue to be offered support by a team of experienced officers.
“Enquiries into Patryk’s death are ongoing. At this time, we are treating the incident as a suspected homicide. There will continue to be an increased police presence in the local area to offer reassurance to the public.
“I would like to thank residents and local businesses for their ongoing patience and cooperation, and would ask anybody who has any information about the incident to come forward and speak to police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting log 146 031118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.