1. ITV Report

Police name man whose body was found in the rubble of a fire in Sunderland as Mark Herron

The body of 53-year-old Mark Herron was discovered after a fire in Sunderland Credit: Northumbria Police

Police have named a man whose body was discovered in the rubble of a fire in Sunderland.

The body of 53-year-old Mark Herron, from New Silksworth, was discovered earlier this week by officers investigating the blaze, which happened on Tuesday 18 February, an address on Tunstall Village Green.

His family are being supported by specialist officers.

Emergency services were called to an address on Tunstall Village Green Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

In a statement, Mark's family said:

We are absolutely devastated by Mark’s death. Words can’t describe the pain we are feeling as we try to come to terms with our loss.

He was a much-loved member of our family, and whilst he would have been the first to acknowledge he had his problems in recent years, he was a kind man at heart.

We would like to thank the community for the messages we have received since this tragic news, and would ask that our privacy is respected at this time.

– Family statement

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Tuesday 25 February and revealed Mark died as a result of the fire.

Police are currently treating his death as suspicious and an investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding the fire.

On Sunday, a 38-year-old man was arrested in connection with the man’s death and has been released under investigation.

Detective Inspector Graeme Dodds, the senior investigating officer, said:

This has been a devastating time for Mark’s family and our thoughts are with them. We will continue to offer them any support they need as they come to terms with their loss.

We are committed to mapping out a chronology of events that immediately preceded the fire, and extensive enquiries have been carried out at the scene by police and our partners.

As part of those enquiries, we have identified a witness that we are keen to trace. Shortly after the fire started, a dark-coloured 4x4 Qashqai-style vehicle was seen travelling in the immediate area.

We are keen to speak to the occupants of that vehicle as they may be able to offer vital information that can assist with our investigation.

– Northumbria Police