THIS week, 15 years ago, detectives launched an investigation following the discovery of a woman's body in the smoke filled garage of her Middlesbrough home.

The woman was identified to be Tasleem Hussain by her dental records after she was burned to death during the incident.

At the time, there was no indication of whether the police were treating the incident as suspicious.

But door-to-door inquiries were carried out in an attempt to create a picture of family life in the house.

One uniformed officer guarded the front entrance of the property while a major incident van remained parked in a side street.

Emergency services were called to the gated property in the road following reports of a fire.

People living in the area saw plumes of smoke billowing out of the building and drifting across the rear of the property.

After entering the garage, firefighters contacted Cleveland Police.

The semi-detached house was immediately sealed off while crime scene investigators searched the house and its garden.

Meanwhile, a school was celebrating after being given a £500,000 cash boost from a leading businessman to help build a sixth form centre and major refurbishment programme.

Sir Tom Cowie announced his contribution towards the £5m project to an assembly of staff and students at St Bede's RC School and Sixth Form College in Lanchester.

The Northern Echo: Sir Tom Cowie, right, talks to St Bede’s headteacher Maureen Bates and school manager Ian Merrington about the £5m refurbishment programme Picture: BRIAN CLOUGHSir Tom Cowie, right, talks to St Bede’s headteacher Maureen Bates and school manager Ian Merrington about the £5m refurbishment programme Picture: BRIAN CLOUGH

Work was expected to start in July 2006 on the sixth form centre and science laboratories, as well as the refurbishment of areas for inclusion, administration and staff development.

Sir Tom, who lived just outside Lanchester, said since he had set up his charitable trust he had sponsored a number of schools in Sunderland to their specialist status.

He committed cash to help Blackfyne and Greencroft schools, in Derwentside, to achieve specialist status.

He has also provided funding for the creation of an educational wood at the primary school in Medomsley and pledged to provide funding for the Beechdale Nursery School to create a new entrance lobby.