A blaze has left a trail of damage in its wake after it spread from waste stored at the side of the house to a shed and fencing.
Firefighters were called to the semi-detached house in New Road, Boldon Colliery, at 1.15pm today after reports which led Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to believe people could be trapped inside the home.
When they arrived, they found the owners safe, with the fire confined to the side of the house.
Waste had accidentally caught fire and left the wall it was next to damaged, with a 4 metre sq section of pebble dash ruined.
The flames spread to a nearby shed, which was destroyed by the heat.
A 2 metre stretch of guttering was also affected, as was a section of a neighbour's fence.
Two officers from South Shields Fire Station wore breathing apparatus as they put out the fire.
Checks found no smoke detectors had been installed inside the house, with a home fire safety check ensuring alarms are now fitted and working to the property and a number of others nearby.