Thieves target Home Living business on same day as suspected arson attack on sister store in Sunderland
A double-inquiry is under way after burglars broke into a furniture business as its sister store in Sunderland was targeted in a suspected arson attack.
Firefighters and police were called to the Ryhope Road branch of Home Living at 12.30am on Sunday, July 28, after the blaze was reported.
The fire has left extensive damage to the building, with the business telling customers the showroom will be closed for some time.
As Northumbria Police continue to investigate the fire, which has been confirmed as a suspected arson attack, its officers have confirmed it is also carrying out inquiries into a separate incident at the company’s site in Benton, Newcastle.
A force spokesman said: “On Sunday morning, July 28, police received a report of a burglary at Home Living on North Tyne Industrial Estate, Benton.
“It was reported that the premises had been broken into overnight and a number of items were stolen.
“Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.”
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue sent crews from Sunderland Central and North Moor to the scene before the teams called in support from Marley Park and Rainton Bridge.
An aerial ladder platform was also drafted in to tackle the blaze, with the service on scene until just after 2am.
In addition to wrecking the showroom, a mezzanine area used for storage was also affected by heat and smoke, with a large section of glass at the front of the store shattered by the incident.
The furniture within the building, including tables, chairs and ornaments were claimed by the heat, flames and fumes.
The Echo has contacted the business for comment, but it has posted on its Facebook page its Newcastle store is open.
Anyone with information about the blaze is asked to contact Northumbria Police 101 quoting reference 74 280719 while anyone with details which could help in the inquiry into the break-in is asked to call the same number quoting reference 095616A/19.
Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111