A GROUND floor flat was damaged by fire after wheelie bins were set alight.
Firefighters from Sunderland were called to Mandela Close in Hendon at about 11pm on Thursday night.
About eight wheelie bins were alight in a communal yard.
The damaged flat was unoccupied at the time.
The resident of the upstairs flat left his property as a precautionary measure.
Police and firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire which is suspected to have been started deliberately.