POLICE are continuing to investigate the fire in Swindon which left a woman dead and a man critically injured.

A 32-year-old woman was rescued by Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service from the blaze at Thorley Court, Abbey Meads, in the early hours of Monday, but pronounced dead by paramedics.

She has been named locally as Sharron McQuarrie.

The woman’s next of kin have been informed but police are awaiting formal identification.

A post mortem examination is being conducted at Flax Bourton, near Bristol, today by a Home Office pathologist. At this early stage in the investigation police are treating the woman’s death as unexplained.

A 25-year-old man, believed to be Sam Vaughan, was taken by helicopter to Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol, suffering from burns and the effects of smoke inhalation. He remains in a critical condition.

A search of the surrounding paths, lawn and shrubs outside Thorley Court for any evidence that may be pertinent to the investigation has been completed by members of the Police Search and Rescue Team.

Wiltshire Police are continuing with the forensic examination of the flat today. Specialist Crime Scene Investigators will be supported in this task by investigators and specialist resources from the Fire & Rescue Service.

It is anticipated that residents who spent last night with friends and relatives will be able to return to their homes during the course of the day.

Det Insp Matt Davey, of the Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We have an unexplained death and we have to keep an open mind while we seek to establish the cause of the fire.

“The search officers are working as quickly as they can to enable residents to return to their homes as soon as possible.

“We have been contacted by several potential witnesses who were in the area at the time and we appreciate their co-operation."

Anyone who has information, or was in the area of Thorley Court between 10.30pm on Sunday and 2.30am on Monday is asked to contact Wiltshire Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.