A police investigation is continuing after a man was found dead at a block of flats in South Shiel
The flats in Stanhope Road were sealed off yesterday morning as forensic officers, paramedics and fire investigators carried out inquiries after the discovery of the man’s body shortly after 10am.
Inquiries into the cause of the man’s death were ongoing today and a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out.
Police confirmed there had been a fire at the flat and were looking at whether that had contributed to the man’s death as a line of inquiry.
One neighbour said he was “devastated” following the death of the man, understood to be in his early 40s.
The flats remained cordoned off overnight.
Simon Harris, who has lived in the flats for about six years, told the Gazette the dead man had been a resident for a similar length of time.
He said: “I can’t come up with the words of how I feel about this.
“I have known him for a long time and he was a good friend. He would help anyone out if he could.
“He was a happy-go-lucky lad. I only saw him last night, I am pure devastated.”
Another local resident, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “We woke up to see police outside and we weren’t sure what was going on.
“I’ve only been here a few weeks so it was a shock.”
The identity of the dead man has yet to be released.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “There was a fire inside the address and one line of inquiry is that might have contributed to the man’s death.
“The property remained cordoned off by police overnight while inquiries are ongoing.”
A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said it had an officer at the scene “at the request of the police”.