FIREFIGHTERS have been tackling a fire at a Chinese takeaway in Houghton.
Officers were called out to May Ho, in Sunderland Street in the town, at 11am on Thursday.
Appliances from Rainton Bridge, Sunderland Central, Farringdon, Washington, Hebburn and Gateshead were deployed to the scene, plus the aerial ladder platform.
Group manager Richie Richaby, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The fire appears to have started in the ground floor kitchen area of the Chinese take-away.
“Crews faced very difficult conditions and acted quickly to get the fire under control.
“Seven groups of firefighters in teams of two entered the building wearing breathing apparatus to enable them to search for any possible persons present on the ground floor and upper residential accommodation. “Thankfully, all persons were accounted for and no one was injured during the incident.
“There is concern that asbestos may be present on the chimney breast in the lounge area of the upper flat.
“This area has been cordoned off and specialists are assessing it.”
The aerial ladder platform was used so that firefighters could remove tiles from the roof and carry out further searches to ensure the fire had not spread into the roof void.
The emergency services are still at the scene and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.