Blandford Street fire: Probe into Peacock shop blaze in Sunderland continues

An investigation into the cause of a blaze which devastated a Sunderland city centre shop continues today.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 6:50 am
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 7:08 am
The aftermath of devastating fire at Peacocks store, Blandford Street, Sunderland.

Firefighters took 10 hours to fully extinguish the blaze as flames and plumes of thick smoke could be seen across the city.

The aftermath of devastating fire at Peacocks store, Blandford Street, Sunderland.

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Northumbria Police has already said the fire, which broke out on Wednesday evening, is not being treated as suspicious.

This morning, a cordon remains in place around the building, which Sunderland City Council says will now face 'probable demolition'.

Extensive damage to the property has meant investigation fire investigation teams have so far been unable to enter the gutted remains - and it make take some time before this is possible.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Peacocks on Wednesday night. Picture by RYAN LIM.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service says it will look to use drone footage as it tries to establish what caused the fire and why it spread.

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Richie Rickaby, group manager at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are intending to use our new technology in the form of the drone as unfortunately it is unsafe for us to go in and start sifting through the debris.

"If the drone doesn't work then we will use an aerial ladder platform to get up there to get some aerial images of the scene so we can start to dissect the reasons for the fire, how it spread, how it developed and the potential causes."

Drones are being used to assess the damage