FIREFIGHTERS were called to a kitchen fire in Blackhall.
Three appliances went out to the blaze in Dene Road at about 5pm on Thursday, after neighbours spotted smoke pouring from the windows.
It was thought that a man was trapped in the terraced house.
But a search of the three-bedroom property by four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus revealed it was empty.
A pan left on the hob had sparked the fire, which set off a smoke alarm.
Firefighters from Durham were also called out at about 5pm to collision in Neville’s Cross, where a man had to be cut free from his car.