Tyne & Wear

Trapped woman dies in Quaking Houses fire

Scene of the fire in Quaking Houses
Image caption The cause of the fire is currently unexplained

A woman has died after becoming trapped in a burning house in County Durham.

The woman became trapped in the living room of the property in Quaking Houses, near Stanley, at about 23:30 GMT on Sunday.

Durham Police said her 51-year-old daughter had been injured trying to get her out of the terraced home they shared in the village's Third Street.

A formal identification has yet to take place, but police say they believe the deceased was Nora Bell, aged 84.

A joint police and fire service investigation was carried out at the property to discover how the blaze started.

In a statement, they said they were "satisfied" there appeared to be "no suspicious circumstances".

Smoke inhalation

A Durham force spokesman said: "When firefighters and police arrived they found the property well ablaze and when they forced their way into the living room they found the victim already dead on the floor.

"Her daughter, who also lives in the premises, had not been able to force open the living room door, but had managed to get out of the house by the front.

"She was suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation and has been detained in the University Hospital of North Durham.

"The cause of the fire is at the moment unexplained.

"A post-mortem examination is planned to establish a formal cause of death and an area around the house has been cordoned off while fire investigators inspect the building."

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