Blandford Street fire: Fire officers give out safety advice to Sunderland businesses following huge Peacocks shop blaze
Businesses in Sunderland's Blandford Street have been visited by fire safety officers following this week's horror blaze which tore through the area's Peacock store.
About 60 firefighters battled the blaze at the clothing shop on Wednesday evening, working through the night to get the fire under control.
The store, which is still cordoned off, was completely destroyed by the fire which remains under investigation.
Pedestrianised Blandford Street is closed at its junction with Martime Terrace, though it is accessible from both ends for workers and shoppers.
Blanford Street fire: Probe into Peacock shop blaze in Sunderland continuesSafety officers from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have today been out to speak to businesses in the busy street and provide valuable advice on how to prevent fires from occurring.
Watch manager in fire safety Dave Smith said: "We're targeting all of the businesses in the area to give them a bit of advice on fire safety.
"Hopefully we're pointed them in the right direction and we avoid any repeat of what has happened here the other night.
"We've worked our way around the street and the businesses have been very receptive to what we have said.
"They've all been willing to take on board our advice.
"We've been reminding them to manage their fire safety provisions and to think about fire escape routes, emergency lighting and fire risk assessments as well as arson.
"If our guys didn't get here as quickly as they did the other night, things could have been much worse."
Blanford Street fire: Daytime pictures show full damage to Sunderland Peacocks StoreKay Robe, of the street's Homestores, said: "It's affecting business around here so we have been double checking on things after what happened.
"The firefighters are worth their weight in gold for what they did in getting out to the scene so quickly, they really are.
"We're just thankful nobody was hurt in it.
"You can replace buildings but you can't replace lives."
Blanford Street fire: Traders' shock after massive Sunderland city centre shop blazeBrian Gregory, of H&T Pawnbrokers, which is also in Blanford Street, said: "We've been visited by Sunderland BID and the fire safety officers who've been speaking to us about our own safety measures.
"We've talked about potential issues with arson.
"From a commercial perspective we need to have as many shops open on the street as possible, so it's very sad what happened the other night.
"We just hope that things can get sorted soon."