A murder investigation has been launched after two men died in a fire in Manchester’s Chinatown.
Shortly after 2.15am on Friday 25 November 2016, police were called to Nicholas Street to reports of a fire in a disused building.
Following a search by firefighters from GMFRS, the bodies of 57-year-old James Evans and 51-year-old Wayne Bardsley were discovered inside.
A joint investigation with the fire service was launched to establish the cause and police are now treating the blaze as suspicious and a murder investigation is underway.
Detectives have also released CCTV images of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Amber Waywell, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “We now believe that this incident could be suspicious and have launched a murder investigation to establish how these men tragically lost their lives.
“We are appealing to the public to come forward with information that can help our enquiries. Anything you know, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could prove to be vital.
“I would urge anyone who recognises the man in the images to contact the police immediately.
“We also believe that members of the homeless community may have been in or near the building before the fire started, and they could hold information that will be critical to our investigation.
“I would like to appeal directly to them to come forward and speak to us, along with anyone else who may have information which could assist us in our enquiries.”
Anyone with information can contact the incident room directly on 0161 856 3400 or call police on 101, quoting incident number 146 of 25 November 2016, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.