AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into a outhouse building thought to have been attacked by arsonists.
Firefighters were called to Seaton Avenue in Houghton at 1.30am on Tuesday after the brick building caught fire, causing the frame of its UPVC window and door to melt.
Officers wearing breathing apparatus were sent in to put out the fire, which left the gable end of the terrace blackened by smoke, and also used fans to clear the area of smoke. The crew spent an hour at the scene and police are carrying out inquiries into the blaze.
Meanwhile, the fire service has advised residents to only put their bins out on the morning of waste collections, as they found wheelie bins out in the back lane and are concerned they too could have been set alight.
Earlier in the shift, the same crew from Rainton Bridge Fire Station was called to Brick Garth in Easington Lane after an outbuilding in a back yard was also found alight.
When firefighters arrived at 10.30pm to put out the fire, they found smoke had started to affected the houses.
The cause is being treated as suspicious.
Anyone with information about the fires should call Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.