Devon

Barnstaple house fire: Man is murder suspect

Police guarding a man in hospital after two women died at a Devon house have said he is a suspect in the murder investigation.

Officers believe the women were stabbed to death in the kitchen of the rented house in Barnstaple and the house was then set on fire.

Firefighters found the bodies of the women, both aged 35, on Sunday morning.

A 40-year-old man, believed to have known both women, was found stabbed at the house.

One of the women lived at the property in Fortmead Close, while the other was a visiting friend.

Cordon in place

Det Supt Stephen Carey, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "A man is under police guard in hospital.

"We believe he knew the two women.

"It is early stages, but we are not looking for anyone else."

The man, who has not been arrested, is in a serious but stable condition at North Devon District Hospital. Police said they were unable to interview him because of his injuries.

Detectives from the force's major crime investigation team are working on the inquiry and a cordon remains in place at the scene in Fortmead Close, where several people have taken flowers.

Post-mortem tests are due to be held into the deaths of the women, whose identities have not been revealed.

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