EIGHT fire crews were needed to tackle a blaze in a disused Sunderland club.
Crews from across the city and South Tyneside were called to the Southwick Social Club which was well alight in the early hours of Monday morning.
Police are now appealing for information about the blaze, which is being treated as suspicious.
Watch Manager Neil Moran, of Fulwell Fire Station, said the bar area of the club was well alight and the whole of building on The Green, Southwick, was heavily smoke-logged when they got the call at 2.45am.
He said: “We had to have eight crews there, mainly due to the size of the building and the safety of our firefighters.
“It was quite dangerous because it was heavily smoke logged and there were holes in the floor.”
Watch Manager Moran said the crews were able to contain the blaze within the bar area of the 40metre by 40metre two storey building, which also has a basement.
He said the whole club was searched and found to be empty and no-one was hurt during the fire.
In total the crews, from Fulwell, Railway Row, North Moor, South Shields and Hebburn fire stations, as well as a specialised incident unit, were on the scene for three hours.
One resident, who lives near the derelict club, said she was amazed that she had slept through the whole incident.
But, she said the club has been empty for at least a year and police have been called a couple of times to people climbing on it.
She said: “The police have been a few times, but it hasn’t been too bad really considering its an empty building.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said they are urging any witnesses to the blaze, or anyone with information, to get in touch.
He said: “The fire was extinguished and following enquiries it’s believed the fire is suspicious.”
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.