A PROBE has been launched after a woman living on her own was found dead in a house fire.

The 50-year-old, who has not been named by police, lived in a terraced house on Warton Street in the North Ormesby area of Middlesbrough.

Investigators from Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade are treating her death as ‘unexplained’.

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Three crews from Marine, Middlesbrough, Grangetown stations were called out at 11.40pm last night (Wednesday).

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Crews were presented with a fire on the ground floor of the property and tackled the fire using breathing apparatus and hose reels.

“Sadly, one casualty was located in the property who was removed and declared dead at the scene. The fire has now been extinguished and the cause of the fire is under a joint investigation between Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland Police.”

As firefighters controlled the billowing smoke, surrounding streets were cordoned off by police officers searching a back alley, said neighbours.

One, Sarah Kennedy said: “There was a lot of smoke coming out and the roads were all blocked off, it was quite scary."

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “A joint investigation with Cleveland Fire Brigade is ongoing into the cause of the fire and it is currently being treated as unexplained." Anyone with information is asked to call the non-emergency 101 number.