AN investigation has been launched after a fatal house fire in County Durham at the weekend.

Officers from Durham Constabulary were called to reports of a house fire at an address in Medomsley, near Consett, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police received an emergency call shortly after 12.10am and officers attended the scene in Fines Road.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service sent three appliances to the incident – two based at Consett fire station and one based at High Handenhold.

Firefighters forced their way into the property and, sadly, the body of a man in his 70s was found inside.

The victim, who is thought to have lived alone at the property, was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not yet been released while efforts are made to contact his next of kin.

Police officers remained at the scene throughout the weekend to speak to neighbours and preserve the scene for forensic examination.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “A joint investigation with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has been launched to determine the cause of the fire.

“Our inquiries into how the fire started are continuing, but at this stage there is nothing to indicate that there is anything suspicious”.

A report has been sent to the Durham and Darlington Coroner.