Investigation underway after early morning house fire

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AN investigation is ongoing after a house fire started in the early hours of this morning.

Police and firefighters were called to The Royalty, near Chester Road, at 12.45 am, where persons were reported trapped.

A fire was started at the rear of the property, opposite The Royalty Theatre, causing damage to the back door, downstairs and upstairs windows, as well as smoke damage inside.

Two appliances from Sunderland Central fire station attended, as well as one from Farringdon.

Four firefighters searched the property, and said no one was present in the building.

The blaze took about 45 minutes to extinguish, and smoke was cleared using a ventilation fan.

A police investigation is ongoing to establish how the fire was started.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull