The cause of the fire which left a Sunderland city centre store in ruins cannot be confirmed due to the extensive damage.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has today said it is unable to pinpoint the exact reason for the incident, which saw the fire tear through the Peacocks shop in Blandford Street on the night of Wednesday, January 23.
A demolition crew arrived on site last week ready to clear the remains of the building.
This morning, area manager for community safety Lynsey McVay, said: “Following the blaze at Peacocks Blandford Street Sunderland on Wednesday, January 23, TWFRS have been conducting a fire investigation into the cause.
“We have been conducting a joint investigation with the private fire investigators acting on behalf of the building owners and occupiers.
“This investigation has included speaking to the firefighters who tackled the blaze and members of the shop’s staff and to local businesses; as well as reviewing CCTV footage and examining the outside of the building in an attempt to determine the cause of the fire.
“We would like to thank the local businesses of Blandford Street for their co-operation and patience throughout the investigation.
"The cordon which was put in place to protect the public has been scaled back and access is now much better to the other businesses in the street.
“A demolition squad has been carrying out work to make the building safer to enter and they are reviewing whether they need to fully demolish the building.
“Although a comprehensive fire investigation was carried out, the definitive cause of the fire could not be determined due to the extensive fire damage to the building and its contents.
“Our business fire safety team visited businesses in the area after the fire to offer fire safety advice to local businesses."
The service has said further advice is available via twfire.gov.uk or by contacting its offices in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland (0191) 4441264/1249 and in Newcastle and North Tyneside through (0191) 4441002/1004.