A former GP surgery in Seaham had to be cordoned off after reports of a gas leak.
Firefighters from Seaham and Peterlee fire stations were called to the ex-surgery in Marlborough at 8.38am today after a resident reported they could smell gas coming from the building.
Police cordoned off the building and the gas board was also on the scene.
Firemen wearing breathing apparatus went into the property, shut the gas off and ventilated the premises.
At this stage it is believed someone had broken into the empty building and caused damage to a pipe, which caused the leak.