A woman has sadly died in a house fire in Darlington.
At 9.53am on Saturday (November 25), County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) received a 999 call to their control room from worried neighbours reporting a fire at a property on Coxwold Drive.
Neighbours reported that the house’s smoke alarms were going off and the house was filling with thick smoke.
Control room operators immediately dispatched two appliances from Darlington and a third from Newton Aycliffe.
The first crew arrived on scene within five minutes and were able to swiftly enter the property, which had been unlocked by neighbours and locate a woman in her 80s.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of firefighters and paramedics, the woman passed away a short while after.
Meanwhile, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus, extinguished the fire using hose reels and got to work ventilating the property.
Paul Cummings, Duty Group Manager for CDDFRS, said: “As a fire service, this is never the outcome we hope for and first and foremost, our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected by this tragic incident.
“We ask that people give her family and loved ones the privacy they need as they attempt to come to terms with this tragedy.
“Any death in the region is a tragedy and we are working hard alongside Durham Constabulary in a joint investigation into the circumstances around the fire - which are not believed to be suspicious.”
He added: “Over the weekend and into today, teams from our service have been out working with local residents in the streets surrounding the area of the fire offering reassurance, advice and home fire safety checks.
“This home was fitted with working smoke alarms, allowing neighbours to call 999. While sadly this has not been enough on this occasion to save a life, it did mean our firefighters were called before the fire had a chance to spread to neighbouring properties.
“Tragic incidents like this remind us of just how devastating fires in the home can be and we encourage all households to have a home fire safety visit.”
To book a free home fire safety visit, please call the service on 0345 223 4221 or visit the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) website to find out more.