Probe launched into huge blaze at Sunderland bingo hall

7
Have your say

A probe has been launched into the cause of a huge blaze in Southwick.

The community link furniture store building at The Green went up in flames on Friday night.

Part of the destroyed former bingo hall has already been demolished.

Part of the destroyed former bingo hall has already been demolished.

On Saturday, Northumbria Police announced that a man and a woman had been arrested on suspicion of arson.

They have now said that everyone arrested in connection with the incident has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The fire started at about 5.30pm, and ripped through the former bingo hall, which had been being used by an auction rooms business.

More than 50 firefighters battled to put out the blaze, and work has been ongoing since then to reopen roads around it which had to be closed for safety reasons, and make the building safe by demolishing part of it.

An investigation is underway by the police and fire service

A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “We’ve been back working with the local authority and a demolition company to make the building safe, and so that the roads and bus lane can reopen. A sweeper has also attended to remove debris from the road.

“The pathway around the building has been made secure with fencing.

“One appliance was there on Sunday morning checking heat spots, and that all the fires were out. An investigation is underway by the police and fire service.”

Many residents visited the scene of the fire over the weekend, and expressed their shock.

The blaze started at about 5.30pm on Friday. Picture by Chantelle Crighton.

The blaze started at about 5.30pm on Friday. Picture by Chantelle Crighton.

Kayleigh McDoughal, 23, from Thompson Road, said: “There were lots of people gathered there watching it blazing – it was horrific. A lamppost nearby came down as a result and the lights on my house were flickering on and off for about 45 minutes, so I was worried I would lose the power.

“It is a really old building, so I can’t believe it is gone.

“Everyone will be devastated. It is dreadful.”

One person questioned by police was released this morning.

The scene of the fire in Southwick on Saturday.

The scene of the fire in Southwick on Saturday.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Inquiries remain ongoing into the fire and anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 reference number 864 02/2/17.”