Residents have been left ‘shocked’ after a man died following a fire at a Darlington flat.

Emergency services received reports of a fire Forcett Street in the town at about 3.45am.

Two crews from Darlington and a third from Bishop Auckland attended the scene, and were joined by Durham Police and North East Ambulance Service.

Firefighters rescued a man in his 60s who sadly passed away after crews performed CPR and took him to hospital.

The Northern Echo:

A joint investigation between CDDFRS and Durham Constabulary is underway to determine the cause of the fire. The incident is not being treated as suspicious.

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.

“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.”

Residents have said they were left ‘shocked’ by the nature of the incident and the emergency service vehicles on their doorstep.

One resident said: “There were loads [of emergency services] outside. [It’s] just a bit of a shock.”

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“You don’t see many fires, it was shocking to see so many forensics outside.”

Another resident said: “I got here today, police tape was up and the police cars were there.

“You see police cars go up and down the main road, but I don’t normally see them out the corner.”