Man arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with fatal Hartlepool house fire

Andrew Simon
Andrew Simon

A MURDER suspect is being quizzed by a team of detectives as part of their investigation into a fatal house fire.

The 29-year-old man from Hartlepool was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of Andrew Simon, who died after a blaze at his home in the town’s Dent Street.

A team of 30 detectives and police officers was set up in Hartlepool to catch the person responsible for the fire in the living room of Mr l Turn to Page 4

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Simon’s home in the early hours of Tuesday, June 11.

The 44-year-old died from smoke inhalation in the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, shortly after the fire.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “A 29-year-old man from Hartlepool has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of Hartlepool man Andrew Simon and is currently in police custody.

“Police continue to appeal for information.”

Superintendent Peter McPhillips has been leading the “major murder investigation” and set up an incident room at Hartlepool’s Avenue Road police station to sift through information that could help find Mr Simon’s killer.

Officers also hit the streets to knock on doors and reassure residents that the “really unusual offence” is a one-off.

Supt McPhillips previously said: “The key to solving Andrew’s murder lies in the heart of the local Hartlepool community and I am appealing for assistance from members of the public to identify the person responsible.

“I want to hear from anyone who may have seen Andrew in the days leading up to his death or crucially in the hours leading up to the fire.”

Mr Simon was described as a “much-loved son and brother” who had three children, who now live outside of the area.

His mother, Barbara Simon, also appealed for help in finding her son’s killer.

The 81-year-old, who lives in Hartlepool, said: “Andrew didn’t deserve this. He was my son and I will miss him terribly.”

A 35-year-old man was arrested shortly after the incident on suspicion of murder but was released with no further action.

A 40-year-old woman had also been arrested on suspicion of arson and manslaughter, and remains on bail pending further enquiries.

Anyone with any information should contact the incident room on the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.