MORE than 30 firefighters tackled a disused warehouse blaze fearing there were homeless people inside.
Crews from across Sunderland were called to the fire in the 30-metre by 50-metre building in Pallion’s Lisburn Terrace at around 9pm on Thursday.
Following three hours fighting the fire they carried out an intense search through dense smoke before being satisfied there was no-one inside.
Crew manager Steve Wilson from Sunderland Central fire station, said: “When we arrived there were two community police officers there who said they knew the building was often used by homeless people to sleep in.”
He said although they did find some mattresses inside, thankfully there was no-one in the building, which is next to Rocktop waste management site.
The Sunderland Central crews were joined by their colleagues from Farringdon, Fulwell, Hebburn and Washington stations as well as a specialist unit to tackle the blaze, which destroyed the inside of the warehouse and the roof.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are working with fire officers to establish the cause of the fire. At this stage it is not known whether the blaze was caused deliberately.”
Anyone who witnessed the fire or who might have information is urged to contact Northumbria Police on the non emergency 101 number.