An inquest has been opened into the death of a man in a fire at a former care home, which led to a murder investigation being launched.
Patryk Rafal Mortimer died in a blaze which started at the former Manor House care home, in Easington Lane, in the early hours of Saturday, November 3.
Police received a report of a fire at the building on Pemberton Bank, in High Street, at around 2.40am .
Mr Mortimer was pulled from the building, but was pronounced dead a short time later, despite the efforts of firefighters and paramedics to save him.
Six crews of four firefighters were sent from fire stations at Sunderland Central, Farringdon, West Denton, Gosforth and South Shields to tackle the blaze.
Chief fire officer of Tyne and Wear Chris Lowther praised their efforts on Twitter: “Firefighters did everything they could to try and save the lives of all those involved.
I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to conduct an inquest as part of my investigation.Coroner Derek Winter
“I commend their bravery, professionalism, and sheer effort. My thoughts are with the man who died.”
Police released Mr Mortimer’s identity on Wednesday, November 7, and confirmed five days later that they were treating his death as murder.
Four people arrested in connection with the fire have been released under investigation.
An inquest into 39-year-old Mr Mortimer’s death was opened and adjourned at Sunderland Coroner’s Court yesterday.
Coroner Derek Winter told the hearing post-mortem examinations had been carried out by two pathologists, but the results were still awaited.
“A post-morten exam was carried out by Dr Bolton on the third of November,” said Mr Winter.
“She gives the preliminary cause of death as the effects of fire. Her final report is still awaited.
“The body was formally identified by fingerprint evidence.
“A further post-mortem was carried out by Dr Cooper. His cause of death is still pending.”
Mr Mortimer’s body was now being retuned to his native Poland, added Mr Winter.
“I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to conduct an inquest as part of my investigation,” he said.
“The cause of Mr Mortimer’s death is believed to be unnatural. There may be criminal proceedings to follow.”
The inquest was adjourned until February 28 at 10am.