Investigation launched after fire guts closed Cavalier pub in Sunderland
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Police and firefighters are investigating a major fire at a pub which is due for demolition.
Firefighters and control room staff responded quickly. Senior officers at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have praised the work of those involved in an early hours response to the fire at the former Cavalier on Silksworth Lane.
In July an application, submitted by CJ Taverns, was approved for the demolition of the pub with 14 houses and a three-storey building providing five apartments built in its place.
A call was received at 00:42am on Wednesday, November 29, reporting smoke billowing from the pub. The first crews arrived in just four of minutes and discovered the building was well alight. Other appliances quickly followed.
TWFRS used six appliances, a command unit, an aerial ladder platform and 34 firefighters.
Deputy chief fire officer Stewart Nicholson has praised everyone involved with fighting the fire.
He said: "This was a substantial fire that spread quickly throughout the building so it was important that we acted quickly.
“As always our outstanding Fire Control team and firefighters worked tirelessly through the night together to extinguish the blaze. Our priority was to ensure the fire didn't spread to the nearby woodlands.
“Enquiries to determine the circumstances surrounding the fire are ongoing and a joint investigation with Northumbria Police is already underway.
“I want to say a huge well done to everyone involved in last night’s response; it was a long night with the darkness and freezing temperatures meaning tackling the fire was even more difficult.”
Cllr Phil Tye, chairperson of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “This was a fantastic response from the fire and rescue service who were on scene in just four minutes of the call.
“Fires like this do have a devastating impact on communities but this response is another demonstration of how the service continues to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies across the region.
“We hope that the response offers reassurances to residents across Silksworth and I will continue to work closely with the executive leadership team to ensure they continue to deliver an outstanding service to communities across Tyne and Wear."
Firefighters were still at the scene 12 hours later. A cordon is in place, but the cause of the fire remains unknown.