A RUBBISH blaze started by vandals outside an abandoned house led to firefighters evacuating the neighbouring home after the fire reached its gas pipes.
A crew from Rainton Bridge Fire Station were called to Brickgarth in Easington Lane at 8pm yesterday after rubbish dumped outside the empty semi-detached house was set alight.
They found it had spread to the gas meter and into part of the house, leading the officers to evacuate a woman and her four-year-old son from the house next door until the fire was brought under control and stopped from spreading.
Jets were used to put out the blaze, with a fan then used to clear the unoccupied house of fumes.
Crew manager Steve Robson said: “This is antisocial behaviour and when people start fires they should realise they’re putting people’s lives at risk.”
Police were called to the house, with investigations to be carried out to try and track down who started the fire.
Anyone with information can call Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.