Blandford Street fire: Work well under way to demolish blaze-hit Peacocks store

A wrecking crew are busy clearing the site of a clothing store burned down by a blaze.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 11 March, 2019, 16:30

The demolition team has moved into Blandford Street in Sunderland city centre after the Peacocks clothing store caught light on the night of Wednesday, January 23.

The Peacocks site is almost clear of debris following the blaze back in January.

Most of what remained of the shop has now been removed from the land, leaving just a few remaining beams and piles of rubble on the land where the business once stood.

A hold had been put on the work to remove the shop front, retail area and storage space left wrecked by the fire while checks were carried out to find out whether it was safe for investigators from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service into the building.

However, it was declared too dangerous for anyone to enter the site, which means the cause of the fire could not be confirmed, although it is not thought to have been suspicious.

The blaze as it raged through the building.

The fire service had been working alongside private fire investigators on behalf of the building's owners and occupiers in the hope of pinpointing why the fire began.

At its height, the service had and spent 10 hours at the scene, with 60 firefighters called to join in the effort to extinguish the blaze before its experts returned to the site to start inquiries.

Around 60 firefighters took a total of 10 hours to tackle the fire, with flames finally being extinguished at 5.20am on Thursday morning after they had been called to the scene at 7.20pm the night before.

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A cordon remains in place around the site on Blandford Street.

The service has previously thanked businesses in the area for their help and support in the aftermath of the incident.

The section of street outside the store was closed off to people on foot following the fire, with an alley later opened to help people reach both ends without the need to use the back lane.

The Echo has contacted Peacocks for comment.

Just rubble and steel beams remain on the land.
Workers on the scene of the blaze as they help clear the remains of the Peacocks clothing shop.
The land is almost clear following the blaze.
Police on the scene the day after the fire.
Firefighters as they battled the blaze on the night of Wednesday, January 23.
A photo taken from above the site shows the damage caused by the fire.