Two people died on Thursday in a house fire, emergency workers said.
The pair were killed when the fire ripped through the property in Carlton Village, Stockton-On-Tees.
A spokesman for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: "Cleveland Fire Brigade were called out to a house fire in Carlton Village, Stockton.
"It was a severe fire in which there were two fatalities.
"Five appliances attended which were from Stockton, Thornaby and Middlesbrough Stations.
"Crews left the scene at approximately 8.45am.
"There will now be a joint investigation between the Fire Brigade and Police."
Cleveland Police would not confirm the gender of the pair and said the investigation was in its very early stages.
A force spokeswoman said the fire was reported to them at 5.05am.
The property is on Carlton Village Road facing The Smiths pub.
An employee at the pub, who declined to be named, said: "I did video it.
"It was something big, there were lots of units here.
"It is right opposite the pub.
"It was about 5am, just before dawn."
Pensioner Joan Richardson, who lives near the property, said the community would pull together.
She said: "Everybody is quite shocked.
"You don't expect this in a small rural village. It is a very friendly village, everybody speaks to everybody, it is a good community.
"Everbody will pull together whatever the circumstances.
"People are very caring, it's a very good young community, there is a good cross section.
"I am amazed I didn't hear it it."