POLICE are searching for arsonists who torched a derelict farmhouse after setting fire to rubbish and furniture.
Firefighters from Rainton Bridge and Farringdon stations were called to Hetton Moor House, in Easington Lane, after reports of the blaze.
Vandals smashed their way into the derelict building through windows at about 6.45pm on Thursday, before setting fire to a section of the ground floor.
Concerned residents then contacted firefighters.
Watch manager Aidan Crawley, from Rainton Bridge Fire Station, said: “When we arrived the building was well alight and we spent 45minutes bringing the fire under control.
“There have been problems at this particular property before and we have been called there before.
“There were bits of refuse and furniture, left from when the house was occupied, scattered around the ground floor.
“We checked the building with a thermal imaging camera to make sure the place was empty.” Fire crews then secured the building, ensuring the windows were boarded up.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police, said: “We were called to the house at 7.10pm when firefighters were at the scene.”
Efforts have since been made to trace the current owners of the property in a bid to prevent any further break-ins.