THE downstairs of a house was destroyed in a blaze.
Three crews – two from Sunderland East and one from Sunderland central fire stations – were called to the house in Hastings Street, off Villette Road, Hendon.
Fire ripped through the lower part of the terraced house, with the upstairs also left damaged.
The home owners were not in at the time of the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.
Acting watch manager Bob Jones, of Sunderland East fire station, said: “It looks like there were smoke alarms in the house, but they were not working.
“I’d urge people to check them to make sure they have ones in place that work.”
The fire happened shortly after 1am on Saturday.
It was dealt with in half an hour.