A man has died after being rescued from a house fire in South Shields at the weekend.

Shortly before 1 am on Sunday morning, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a 999 call about a fire at a property on Raleigh Close.

Fire crews pulled a 76-year-old man from the building. He was administered emergency first aid by firefighters, before being taken to hospital by the North East Ambulance Service. 

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But despite crews arriving on the scene within four minutes, the man was pronounced dead a short time later. 

Firefighters continued to tackle the fire and were able to prevent it from spreading to nearby properties before it was fully extinguished.

Area Manager Ken Corbett, of TWFRS, said: “Any death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the man’s family at what must be an incredibly difficult time.

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“A joint investigation into the circumstances around the fire has been launched alongside Northumbria Police and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

“I want to applaud the crews, and our Fire Control, for their quick actions in attending the incident and for doing everything they could to bring the occupant to safety.”

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A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the man involved.

“Police do not believe the death to be suspicious or that there was any third-party involvement. A report has been made for the coroner.”

Anyone who has concerns about a vulnerable relative, neighbour or friend is encouraged to arrange a free home visit by visiting the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service website today.