Blandford Street fire: Demolition crew moves in ready to knock down Sunderland Peacocks store wrecked by blaze

Work is expected to start on razing a former clothes shop to the ground weeks after it was destroyed by fire.

Demolition gear has been delivered to the rear of Blandford Street in Sunderland city centre ready to start knocking down the remains of the Peacocks store, which was ravaged by a blaze on the night of Wednesday, January 23.

Plant machinery has arrived at the rear of Blandford Street as preparations begin to demolish the Peacocks store site.

Plant machinery has arrived at the rear of Blandford Street as preparations begin to demolish the Peacocks store site.

Update: Blandford Street fire: Assessment due to be carried out ahead of demolition of burned out Sunderland Peacocks store

A section of the pedestrianised street has been reopened to allow people to walk from one end to the other, after shoppers had been left to use the back lane as access after safety fears due to the damaged building.

The Echo understands work is due to start to clear the site tomorrow.

Blandford Street fire: Peacocks store demolition 'probable' after blaze tears through Sunderland shop

The fire as it burned on the night of Wednesday, January 23.

The fire as it burned on the night of Wednesday, January 23.

Sharon Appleby is head of business operations for Sunderland BID, which aims to revitatalise and regenerate commercial areas of the city.

She said: "It is really good news for the street that the demolition team has arrived and we hope this means business will get back to normal as quickly as possible.

"We will continue to work with the traders in that area and support them following the fire."

Related: Blandford Street fire: Shocking pictures show damage caused by huge blaze in Sunderland city centre

The aftermath of the blaze.

The aftermath of the blaze.

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council added: "The city council is continuing its on-going dialogue with the building’s owners and their representatives, and looks forward to clearance works at the site very soon."

Blandford Street fire: Businesses plead for urgent action in wake of huge Sunderland city centre blaze

Peacocks was contacted for comment.

Barriers have been thrown around the site to keep people safe.

Barriers have been thrown around the site to keep people safe.

A passageway has been created to let people walk the full length of Blandford Street.

A passageway has been created to let people walk the full length of Blandford Street.

Sunderland BID has welcomed word that demolition is due to start at the former Peacocks shop site.

Sunderland BID has welcomed word that demolition is due to start at the former Peacocks shop site.