A BLAZE which tore through a former Peterlee club is believed to have been started deliberately.
Police and the fire service have launched a joint investigation into the fire, which started at the front of the derelict Peterlee Sports and Social Club on Monday evening.
Vandals are believed to have pushed a seat up against the front wall of the boarded-up building in Ellison Road before it was set alight.
Windows had been smashed and boards had been ripped from the window prior to the fire starting.
Crews from Peterlee fire station were called to the scene at 7.20pm.
When firefighters arrived, police had already managed to put out the fire.