A MAN who died in a house fire has been named locally as John Stewart.

The 54-year-old died after a blaze broke out in his home, on Thornfield Road, Consett, just before 1pm on Wednesday.

It is unclear how the fire started but it is not being treated as suspicious.

Police are preparing a report for the coroner who will hold an inquest.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at Mr Stewart’s death.

Naomi Page, 16, who lives opposite, said Mr Stewart was a popular member of the community who used to babysit for her.

It is understood he was a widower and lived alone in the property.

Miss Page said: “He was absolutely lovely. He was one of the nicest people you could meet.”