A neighbour helped put out a fire after a outdoor electrical storage cupboard next to a house caught fire.
The blaze caused by an electrical fault broke out just before 6.50pm yesterday in Southcroft, Fatfield, Washington, with a meter, cabling and other sections of the store damaged.
A resident used a dry powder fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
The people inside the two-storey mid-link terrace house were able to get out of their house, with no injuries caused by the heat and smoke.
Ten firefighters from Rainton Bridge and Birtley were called to deal with the incident.