AN elderly couple were lucky to escape with their lives after fire raged through their house.
The 80-year-old man and his 79-year-old wife were inside the house in South View, South Hylton, when a blaze broke out in a cloakroom under the stairs.
Luckily, the pair were alerted to the blaze when a smoke alarm went off and were able to get out of their home.
Fire spread through the ground floor of the semi-detached house and thick smoke spread right through the property, causing all rooms and the the roof void to be destroyed by smoke damage.
The smoke also spread into the roof void of the neighbouring property, which had to be evacuated and ventilated as well.
Two appliances from Farringdon Fire Station were called to the scene at 2.30pm on Saturday and were there for around three hours.
Crew Manager Ron Monaghan, said the smoke alarm could have saved the lives of the pensioners.
He said: “They had been in the house at the time the fire broke out, so an ambulance was called. The couple were treated by paramedics for shock and possible smoke inhalation. They were shaken and upset, but ok and didn’t need to go to hospital.
“The were very lucky.”
The fire officer said the neighbours spent the night with relatives, but would be able to return to their home, however, the pensioners will have to be rehoused and their belongings will need replacing.
Crew Manager Monaghan said at the moment the cause of the blaze is under investigation, but the fire officers say it was not malicious and they have ruled out anything suspicious.
At the moment they are considering a fault somewhere, possibly electrical, but will not know for sure until the investigations have been carried out.