A man has been charged with arson following an early-morning fire at a block of flats in Gateshead.
Shortly before 1.45am on Friday 16 October, police received a report of a fire at a block of flats on Tennyson Court.
Emergency services attended and residents were temporarily evacuated as the fire – which had started in a room on the second floor - was extinguished. Nobody was injured.
An investigation has been launched in partnership with Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service into the circumstances surrounding the fire.
James Roney, 36, of Tennyson Court, Gateshead, has been charged with arson with intent to danger life. He is due to appear before court on Monday.
Chief Inspector Alan Pitchford, of Northumbria Police, said: “We understand that incidents of this nature can cause concern and shock within the community and this is clearly a serious incident. Thankfully, nobody has been injured.
“We are using every tactic at our disposal to carry out a full investigation into the cause of the fire, working with our partners, and we are currently interviewing one man in connection with the blaze.
“I would like to thank residents for their ongoing support as officers carry out a range of enquiries and would ask that anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
“An increased police presence will remain in the areas as officers carry out those enquiries and offer any reassurance to members of the public.”
Fire crews rescued two people from the fire – one via a window using a 10.5m ladder and the other was led to safety by firefighters with the use of a Parat smoke hood.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Lynsey McVay, of Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Crews from Gateshead Central, Newcastle, Hebburn, Byker, Birtley, Swalwell and Gosforth attended, as well as our incident command unit and three senior officers.
“Firefighters rescued two occupiers from two separate flats, but thankfully neither required hospital treatment.
The fire was confined to a room within one flat on the second floor. As a precaution, the second floor was evacuated due to some smoke logging. The fire alarms activated as required.”