A DISABLED pensioner was found dead in her Darlington home following a fire on Sunday morning.

Ellen Hamilton, 67, who lived alone, was discovered in her ground floor flat by her care worker shortly after 10am.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the blaze but were not treating the death as suspicious.

A post-mortem examination was due to be carried out on Tuesday though it is thought she died from smoke inhalation.

The alarm was raised when the woman failed to answer her front door in Barden Moor Road, Firthmoor.

Darlington Fire Station Officer Richy McArdle said the blaze was out by the time fire crews arrived.

"When we got there the ambulance crew was there and the lady was obviously dead in the house," he said.

"There was serious damage to the living room, one part in particular. The lady was infirm. She had a walking frame."

He added the fire showed all the signs of having built up slowly then burnt itself out due to lack of oxygen.

Anyone who was in the Barden Moor Road area between 10pm on Saturday and 8am on Sunday is asked to call police on (01325) 742155.