Death warning over arson-hit derelict business centre in Sunderland

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A suspected arson attack on a derelict building in Sunderland has prompted a warning by fire chiefs.

Fire crews from Marley Potts were called to North Hylton Business Centre on North Hylton Road, Southwick, at 9.30pm on Friday, after smoke was seen coming from the site.

Crew Manager Steve Howe said: “Derelict buildings are not playgrounds, entering them illegally could cost a person their life.

“We believe rubbish left in the building was used to start the fire in one of the offices.

“Luckily, the fire was contained, however, there was a lot of smoke. Firefighters searched the building in case anyone had become trapped, but no one was found.

“There are a lot of hazards within the building and it was dark, firefighters had to navigate with the aid of torch light.

“For those starting the fire, it could have ended up costing them their lives as even a few breaths of smoke can lead to a fatality.”