Police have launched a murder investigation after an arson attack in a Shropshire village which left one man dead and a woman seriously injured.

The man, in his 40s, died in the specialist burns unit of Whiston Hospital in Liverpool yesterday.

The victim, who has not been named by police, was initially taken to the critical care unit at Shrewsbury Royal Hospital after a house in Bucknell, south Shropshire, was set alight at 8pm on Monday. A Home Office pathologist is expected to carry out a post-mortem examination today.

A woman in her 20s also suffered burns but was in a stable condition last night following an operation. She remained in the specialist burns unit where police hoped to interview her.

Police were questioning two men from Leominster, both in their 20s, who were initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and now of murder.

A superintendent’s extension was granted on Tuesday night for an extra 24 hours’ detention in custody for the first man. Both were questioned by Shrewsbury police throughout yesterday.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, said: “It’s too early to say what exactly has occurred within the house. We are running the inquiry as a major investigation with more than 50 officers from Shropshire and others part of the West Mercia force area.”

Detectives were continuing to interview witnesses.

West Mercia Police have appealed for information. Acting DCI, Neil Jamieson, said: “We are particularly anxious to hear from anyone who was in The Square area of Bucknell prior to 8pm on Monday who saw or heard anything suspicious.”

Anyone with information can contact Shrewsbury police on 0300-333-3000 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.