POLICE are investigating a fatal house fire in Hartlepool.
Officers were called at around 12.50am today to reports of a house fire in Dent Street, Hartlepool, where firefighters were already tackling the blaze.
A 44-year-old man was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where he was later pronounced dead.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said a joint investigation is now taking place between the force and Cleveland Fire Brigade into the cause of the fire, which is currently being described as “unexplained”.
A 40-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of arson and is currently in police custody in Hartlepool.
Cleveland Fire Brigade said they were called at 00.45am to Dent Street and two engines from Stranton Station arrived at the scene at 00.48am followed by a further appliance from Headland Fire Station.
A spokesman for the brigade said: “On arrival, crews were presented with a serious fire situation. One casualty was rescued but unfortunately died later in hospital.
“Crews used six breathing apparatus, two hose reels, a thermal image camera and a positive pressure ventilation to tackle the fire and left the scene at 6.00am.
“The house was severely damaged by fire and heavily smoke damaged.”
Anyone who witnessed anything or has any information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.