Police forensic experts and fire investigators are at a block of flats in South Shields today after a body was found.
Emergency services, including ambulance crews and police, were called to flats in Stanhope Road this morning and sealed off the area.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “At 10.06am we got a report from people expressing concern for a man at an address in Stanhope Road.
“Police officers went to the address, and the man has been found dead at the scene.
“Inquiries are ongoing.”
Officers have the front and rear of the flats cordoned off.
Neighbours said they had seen smoke and heard reports of fire damage.
A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire Service said: “We have an officer at the scene at the request of the police.”