A CHILD who was rescued from a house fire in Darlington has died.

The seven-year-old girl died in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, on Wednesday.

It follows a house fire in Esk Road, Darlington, at about 1.50pm on Saturday, December 1.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson and then released under investigation by police.

A neighbour told how she tried in vain to rescue the girl.

Kathleen Wilkinson, 63, scaled a 5ft fence using a stepladder, went in through the back door and tried to crawl under the smoke on her hands and knees but was beaten back.

Speaking on Thursday, Detective Chief Inspector Traci McNally said: “A police investigation is underway.

“Our thoughts are with the little girl’s family and friends following this tragic incident.”

A post mortem examination will take place in the coming days.