THREE people are lucky to be alive after flames ripped through two flats in Sunderland.
Fire crews from Farringdon and Sunderland Central were called to the properties in Hill View in the early hours of this morning.
An elderly man and his daughter managed to escape the blazing ground floor flat and a young man fled the upstairs flat where the fire had spread.
Crew Manager, Steve Wilson, said thankfully both flats were fitted with smoke alarms, which woke the occupants, or the situation could have been much worse.
The firecrews were called to the scene at 4.10am and when they arrived the fire had taken a strong hold.
Crew Manager Wilson said: “The fire started in the rear bedroom of the downstairs flat, it burst out of the window and shot up the outside wall, setting the upstairs window alight.”
The man in his 70s and his daughter, who is in her 40s, as well as the man in his 20s from the upstairs flat, were treated on the scene by paramedics, but no-one needed hospital treatment.
Fire crews were on the scene for two hours and the flats were so badly damaged that the occupants will need to be rehoused while repairs are carried out.
An investigation is being carried out to pinpoint the exact cause of the blaze, but it is not being treated as suspicious.