The man who died following a fire at his Durham home has been named as Murdo Macleod.
Police say a post mortem is due to be carried out tomorrow to establish the cause of death.
Mr Macleod, who went by the nickname of Hamish, was said by neighbours to be a retired prison officer.
He is believed to be a widower in his early 60s who lived alone and was pronounced dead at the scene on Monday evening.
A neighbour said: “A neighbour noticed smoke coming from the roof of the house.
“The smoke was drifting up through the roof tiles. We could see the house was full of smoke, but couldn’t see any flames.
“A neighbour managed to get in through the utility door, but could not get through the main back door.
“The fire brigade were called. They brought him out and worked on him for abour an hour, but sadly couldn’t bring him back.
“He was well-liked and well-respected. He had lived here for a long time and worked with many people who are still serving.”
A joint investigation between County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Durham Constabulary is still underway to establish the exact cause of the fire, but is does not appear to be suspicious.