Investigations to get underway into blaze which sparked large-scale firefighting operation
Firefighters are on the scene dealing with a large blaze in the city.
Residents in Hetton are being advised to keep their windows shut while firefighters deal with a large blaze.
Four fire appliances and an Ariel Ladder Platform are currently dealing with the blaze at a flat in Richard Street.
Crews were called to the scene at around 6am after being alerted by a member of the public.
The flat, which is believed to stretch over two small business premises, a computer shop and a dog groomers, has been destroyed by the blaze.
Watch manager, Dave Curtis, the incident commander on the scene, said he is expecting crews to be on the scene until after 9am.
He said no-one was believed to be in the premises.
The watch manager said: "We have been here since 6am this morning. We have had to fight the fire from above because it is too dangerous to go inside.
The call to the fire crews was made by a members of the public when they spotted the smoke.
Police were also on the scene of the blaze this morning and an investigation will be carried out by fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze.
A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Tweeted: "Please ensure you keep your windows closed to prevent smoke entering your property and avoid the Front Street area if possible."