A man has died in hospital after a flat fire in Darlington in the early hours of Sunday (June 9) morning. 

Emergency services were called to Forcett Street in the town at about 3.45am, following reports of a fire in a building on the street.

Two fire crews from Darlington and a third from Bishop Auckland were deployed, while police and ambulance crews were also seen at the incident.

Upon arrival, emergency services were met with a fully developed fire, and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and proceeded to conduct a search and extinguish the fire using hoses.

The Northern Echo: A police van on the scene of the incidentA police van on the scene of the incident (Image: Michael Robinson)

Firefighters rescued a man in his 60s and performed CPR before the man was taken to hospital where he died hours later.

A joint investigation between the fire service and Durham Police is underway to determine the cause of the fire.

The incident is not being treated as suspicious.

A cordon remains in place at the incident, with crime scene investigators also spotted on the street on Monday (June 10) morning.

Fire crews from Darlington will be working in the area over the coming days to offer reassurance to neighbours and provide home fire safety advice.

Group Manager Dan Wootton of CDDFRS said: “As a fire service, this is never the outcome we hope for.

“The thoughts of everyone at CDDFRS are with the family and friends of those affected by this tragic incident.”

He added: “At tragic times like this, we are reminded of the dangers of fire and the reality that fire kills.

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“As a service, we aim to protect and educate members of our communities about the dangers of fire and we therefore, once again, issue our plea to every household – whether they be in a house, a flat or a caravan – to make sure you are checking your smoke alarms weekly.

“If you don’t have smoke alarms – we can fit them for you as part of our free Home Fire Safety Visits.

“Nothing matters more to us than the safety of those who live in our communities, and we ask that you reach out to your neighbours and loved ones – particularly those who are older and living alone and offer to help them test their smoke alarms or help arrange a HFSV from their local fire crews.

“We all have a duty to look after one another so please do play your part in keeping communities safe.”