The cause of a massive blaze which broke out in West Boldon is still under investigation.
Fire ripped through motor parts supplier Wrightway Car Parts, in Newcastle Road, at 8.20pm on Sunday night.
Neighbouring homes and the Red Lion pub in the area were evacuated as nine fire crews tackled the inferno.
Police set up a cordon about 100 metres from the garage to keep people away from the scene.
Fire officers later confirmed exploding gas cylinders had landed in neighbouring properties.
The fire spread to two neighbouring properties
More than 40 firefighters tackled the blaze which took more than six hours to bring under control and extinguish.
Fire investigation teams have been at the scene as a part of a probe into the cause of the blaze.
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed today enquiries were continuing.
"I can confirm that the investigation is still ongoing," she said.