Murder detectives were last night questioning a man after his housemate was killed in a fire.
The 53-year-old died in hospital yesterday morning after suffering severe burns in the blaze at his home on Gateshead’s Leam Lane estate.
A 45-year-old man, who The Journal understands also lived at the house, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. Detectives from Northumbria Police’s Major Crime Team are now questioning him on suspicion of murder.
A spokesperson for the force said: “A 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently helping police with inquiries.
“Inquiries into the fire are continuing.
“Anyone with information is being asked to come forward.”
Firefighters were called to the home, on Redemarsh, at around 6.30pm on Tuesday.
Crews burst into the property to rescue one man who was inside and a second who was sitting on the back window ledge.
And as both men were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment police arrived and an investigation was launched.
Yesterday, as news of the man’s death spread around the estate, his home remained cordoned off with police tape.
A uniformed police officer stood guard outside the front garden gate.
Det Chief Insp Christina Barrett of Northumbria Police’s Major Crime Team is leading the investigation.
She said: “The investigation is in its very early stages and we are working with the fire service to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the fire.
“We would like to speak to anyone who thinks they may have information that could help us with our enquiries.
“Anyone who knows those inside the property and who may have seen them earlier in the day should also come forward as this could help with our investigation.
Anyone with any information should call Northumbria Police on 101.