FIRE has damaged one of Sunderland’s most historically-important pubs.
Six crews from Sunderland stations were called to the Mountain Daisy, Millfield, at about 5.30am today.
It is thought that yobs broke into the building, robbed fruit machines and started a blaze.
Windows were smashed either side of the imposing grade II listed Hylton Road building.
They include a stained glass window into the famous tiled back bar, which has been described by the Campaign for Real Ale as “one of the most spectacular pub rooms anywhere in the country”.
Watch manger Alan Patterson, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “A small room at the rear was severely damaged by fire and smoke, although we managed to stop it before it reached the main bar. However, there was still serious smoke damage.”
Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to make sure nobody was inside.
“We did not know if anybody was in the building,” said Mr Patterson.
“However, although there were signs somebody had been staying there recently, they were not there at the time.”
Part of Cromwell Street, and the back lane behind the pub, have been cordoned off while investigations continue.