Man dies in 'deliberate' house fire in Dudley

Fire at Wood Street, Dudley Police said the fire had been started inside the house on Wood Street in Dudley

A man in his 40s has died in a house fire in the West Midlands which police said was started deliberately.

A 42-year-old woman and two boys, nine and 15, escaped from the fire which started in the house in Wood Street in Dudley at about 18:10 GMT on Saturday.

Police said they had been unable to carry out searches inside the house because it was structurally unsafe.

The man has not yet been formally identified. A post-mortem examination will take place later, police said.

Officers said they had spoken to a number of witnesses but were not looking for anybody else in connection with the fire, which started inside the house.

Det Insp Simon Astle, from West Midlands Police, said: "This was a major fire, started deliberately, which has claimed a man's life and was so fierce that the property has been left in a dangerous state.

"A woman and her two sons, who we believe were known to the man, have been left badly traumatised by what has happened.

"All three are being supported by specially trained officers and our investigation is well under way."

Wood Street was closed for about 10 hours while firefighters dealt with the blaze and people were evacuated from nearby houses, police said.

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