A DEDICATED hotline has been set up with direct access to the team investigating the murder of a Hartlepool dad.
Officers are stepping up the search to sneer the person responsible for deliberatly starting a fire which killed 44-year-old Andrew Simon.
The blaze tore through his home, in Dent Street, Hartlepool, at around 12.50am on Tuesday, June 11.
Police have now installed a direct line so anyone with any information about the fire will be put straight through to the incident room at Hartlepool Police Station, which is at the heart of the investigation.
Detective Superintendent Peter McPhillips, who is leading the investigation, said: “We remain focused and determined on finding the person who murdered Andrew.
“He was only 44 and did not deserve to die.
“Someone has information that holds the key to solving this crime and this dedicated telephone number enables them to contact detectives at the centre of this investigation.”
The hotline follows an emotional plea from Andrew’s mother and house-to-house inquiries being carried out by police as they look to make a breakthrough into the investigation.
Andrew’s mum, Barbara Simon, 81, said: “Andrew didn’t deserve this, he was my son and I will miss him terribly.
“Anyone who knows anything, please, please contact police and help officers to find out who did this.”
Andrew died of smoke inhalation after the flames swept through his home.
He was treated at the scene before being rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees where he sadly passed away.
Police are doing all they can in the search for the killer and released photos and distributed leaflets as they seek to find out more about Andrew’s death.
They are also on the hunt for homes with CCTV cameras in the area and have been working to establish whether there are any homes in the vicinity of the murder scene which have CCTV footage which may hold vital clues to the investigation.
Since the murder investigation was launched officers have thanked residents in the area for their support.
A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after police searched two houses in Rium Terrace and Furness Street last week but was released with no further action.
Anyone with any information about the fire can call the new dedicated hotline number on (01642) 302198.
Alternatively people can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.