Man dies following Christmas Eve house fire in South Shields

The fire was on Seton Avenue (picture taken in summer 2022). Credit: Google Maps

A man has died after being pulled from a house fire by firefighters in South Shields on Christmas Eve.

Just after 1am on Saturday 24 December, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a report of a fire at a residential property in South Shields.

Crews from South Shields and Hebburn Fire Stations say there were on scene at the address within six minutes of the 999 call, with further support being provided by firefighters from Washington Community Fire Station.

Upon their arrival, firefighters found the property on Seton Avenue well alight and began to make efforts to extinguish the blaze and stop it spreading to adjoining properties.

Crews entered the house using breathing apparatus and pulled the 70-year-old man from the property. Nobody else was inside the building.

Despite efforts to save him, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire service said nothing is deemed to be suspicious and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

Area Manager Phil Clark, of TWFRS, said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of this victim who has lost his life just hours before Christmas Day.

"Our crews were on scene in a matter of minutes, and rescued this man from the burning building, but unfortunately the man was found to have significant injuries.  

"Our fire investigation team will be supporting Northumbria Police as they prepare a report for the coroner.

"I want to thank the crews, and our Fire Control, for their quick actions in attending the incident and we will do everything we can to ensure they have the support they need.

"As with all incidents of this nature, we will be looking to see if anything can be learned that will help us make our communities safer.”  

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "At 1.20am on Saturday (December 24) officers were alerted to a house fire on Seton Avenue in South Shields.

"Emergency services attended and sadly a 70-year-old man was found deceased inside. His next of kin have been notified.

"Officers do not believe there to have been any third party involvement and a report will be made for the coroner.”

TWFRS offer free home visits as part of their safe and well checks, during which they can check smoke alarms or fit new ones.

Staff can also identify any other fire risks and work with occupants to address issues in their home.

Anyone who wants to speak to TWFRS is encouraged to fill in a form on their website, or by calling their freephone number 0800 032 7777.