No reopening date yet for Sunderland cinema evacuated after fire

A sign in the window of the cinema this morning
A sign in the window of the cinema this morning
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Company bosses say it is too early to know when Sunderland's Empire Cinema will reopen after a fire.

More than 200 people were evacuated from the Lambton Street venue after a blaze broke out last night.

Sunderland's Empire Cinema was evacuated after a fire last night

Sunderland's Empire Cinema was evacuated after a fire last night

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to the cinema shortly before 6.30pm.

Appliances from Marley Park and Sunderland Central stations dealt with a fire in an electrical cupboard.

Approximately 250 members of the public were evacuated.

Two firefighters using breathing apparatus and CO2 extinguishers tackled the blaze.

Customers shared pictures on social media of crowds standing outside.

The cause of the blaze is currently being investigated.

The firm issued a statement this morning about the current situation:

"Shortly before 18:30 yesterday the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended Empire Cinemas Sunderland following a fire alarm.

"A small electrical fire was located in the battery room and extinguished by two firefighters utilising CO2 extinguishers. A full evacuation was carried out in accordance with the cinema procedures and the fire was quickly put out.

"The fire brigade left the site at approximately 20:30, after confirming the site was safe for staff to re-enter.

"Just over 200 customers and staff were successfully evacuated in accordance with Empire Cinemas planned fire procedure. There are no casualties.

"All customers who were evacuated from Empire Cinemas Sunderland yesterday and customers with existing bookings will be fully reimbursed. Empire Cinemas will announce the re-opening date in due course."