Police investigating the death of a man found inside a block of flats in South Shields have said fire may have been a contributory factor.
Officers were called to the flats on Stanhope Road, shortly after 10am on Sunday morning after reports of concern for a man inside.
A body was found and inquiries into the cause of death are continuing with a post mortem set to take place on Monday.
Paramedics and a Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue Service investigator also attended the flats, which remain cordoned off.
The identity of the man, believed to be in his early 40s, has yet to be released.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said on Sunday evening: "Inquires are ongoing to establish the cause of the man's death.
"A post mortem is scheduled for tomorrow.
"There was a fire inside the address an one line of inquiry is that might have contributed to his death.
"The property will remain cordoned off by police overnight while inquiries into the incident are ongoing.
"The man's family and next of kin are still being informed."