Blandford Street fire: Blaze investigators review CCTV as officers are still unable to go into unsafe Peacocks building

The inquiry into why Sunderland's Peacocks store caught fire is yet to see investigators go into the wrecked building due to safety concerns.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 08 February, 2019, 11:39

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said its probe into the fire, which broke out on the night of Wednesday, January 23, and tore through the clothing shop, is ongoing.

Its officers have looked at CCTV from the area of Blandford Street, but are still unable to enter the shell of the store due to safety concerns.

Police on the scene of the Peacocks fire as it raged through the building.

The cause of the fire is not though to be suspicious.

Today, Ian Bell Fire, the service's safety group manager, said: “The fire investigation is ongoing into the cause of the blaze at Peacocks on Blandford Street Sunderland.

"We have viewed CCTV footage from the surrounding buildings to look at the fire development.

A cordon was thrown around the area as firefighters tackled the fire.

“We need to ensure that the building is made safe before we can enter to conduct the internal part of the fire investigation.

"The building is currently unsafe and we are unable to conduct this part of the investigation.

“We are conducting a joint investigation with the private fire investigators acting on behalf of the building owners and occupiers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

"The fence parameter is still in place on the street at the front of the building and will remain in place until the building is deemed safe enough to enter, this is to ensure the safety of people in the vicinity of the building.”

An aerial photo of the site taken by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Last week, Sunderland AFC players and members of the club's management visited the street to show their support for businesses which neighbour the site, which has been cordoned off to pedestrians.

The fire service sent a high volume pump and an aerial ladder platform to the scene as part of its response to the blaze.

The building is too unsafe for firefighters to enter as they carry out an inquiry into how the blaze began.

A timeline of the incident and how it was tackled can be found here.

A cordon has been in place around the building since the fire last month.
Sunderland AFC players and members of the club's management visited the street last week to show their support.