Murder investigation following a house fire in Birtley

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a call at 23.37 last night to attend a house fire in Birtley. A crew from Birtley Community Fire Station arrived on scene within 5 minutes to discover a developed fire in the loft of a 3 storey house on Robsons Way.

Two further crews from Washington and Gateshead arrived on scene within a further 5 minutes. The loft was 100% severely damaged by fire, and there was further damage to the 2nd floor bedroom from the collapsed loft. Whilst in the process of extinguishing the fire, our crews, tragically, discovered a body within the property.

Northumbria Police has now launched a murder investigation and a 61 year old man has been arrested.

TWFRS Group Manager – Service Delivery, Peter Iveson commented:

“This was a difficult and challenging fire and all credit must go to the crews for their swift arrival and in getting the fire under control and extinguished so that it did not spread throughout the property.

Very sadly, a body was discovered and our sympathies go out to family and friends at this difficult time.

We would urge anyone who has information to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting log 2 of 1/2/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

A fire investigation is on-going.