Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenage boy’s body was found at a flat in St Helens.
The pair, aged 22 and 25, were held after firefighters made the grim discovery on New Year’s Day.
Police believe a New Year’s Eve party was staged at the flat which was attended by several people.
Crews were called to an address in Tickle Avenue, Parr, shortly before noon to tackle a series of small blazes which had started inside the property.
They quickly extinguished the flames but then discovered the body of a 17-year-old male.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem will be carried out to established the cause of death but detectives in St Helens believe the lad was murdered.
The teenager’s next of kin are in the process of being informed although no formal identification has yet taken place.
Det Chief Insp Sue Coombs said: “Our inquiries into this incident are still at a very early stage and we are working hard to establish the full circumstances surrounding exactly what has happened.
“We believe there was a New Year’s Eve party at the flat which continued into the following morning.
“We have traced some of the people, but we still need to speak to anyone who was there and hasn’t come forward yet as they may have vital information which could help our investigation.
“I would appeal to anyone who was at the party or anyone with information about the incident, however small, to get in touch with us as a matter of urgency.”
The property remains cordoned-off to allow a forensic examination of the scene and house-to-house inquiries are being carried out.
Witnesses should call detectives in St Helens CID on 0151 777 6811 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.