Businesses bosses have described the fire which ripped through Peacocks store as a "terrible shame" for a "well-loved store at the heart of one of Sunderland's oldest shopping streets."
An investigation is now underway as to what caused the fire, and a cordon remains in place around the area as firefighters continue to deal with the aftermath of the blaze.
Nobody was hurt in the blaze.
This morning, Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, said: "It's a terrible shame for such a well-loved store at the heart of the one of Sunderland's oldest shopping streets to have been so severely damaged.
"However thank goodness nobody was hurt. We will offer whatever support we can to that business and other retailers in Blandford Street in the coming weeks."
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "At about 7.20pm yesterday (Wednesday), police received a report of a fire at a business premises on Blandford Street, Sunderland.
"Emergency services attended and the road was closed whilst the fire was extinguished.
"Luckily nobody was injured and the area has been cordoned off for public safety.
"An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the fire.
"Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 927 23/01/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."