Video shows devastation caused to Sunderland's Home Living furniture store in suspected arson attack
This is the scene left behind by a blaze which tore through a Sunderland business in a suspected arson attack.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to Home Living in Ryhope Road at 12.30am on Sunday, to deal with a blaze which police believe was started maliciously.
It left a large section of glass at the front of the building shattered, part of the showroom wrecked and the business damaged by smoke, with a mezzanine area used as storage also affected.
Initial crews from Sunderland Central and North Moor called in support from Marley Park and Rainton Bridge, with an aerial ladder platform drafted in to tackle the blaze.
The teams remained on scene until just after 2am, with fire investigators and police on the scene early on Sunday as evidence was gathered as part of the joint inquiry being carried out into the fire.
Photos of the scene showed the charred remains of chairs, tables, mirrors and ornamental pieces which had been on show in the store.
No one from the business was available when contacted by the Echo, but the company’s Facebook page posted telephone numbers for customers to call and added the note: “Thank you for your patience.”
Earlier, the firm had posted CCTV taken from the shop the same night of the fire and asked for help to identify the figures in the video.
A post has explained to customers it is the showroom which has been damaged and any special order items will not be affected, with extra staff being drafted into its Newcastle store to help.
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Confirming an incident at the Sunderland site, it added: “Unfortunately we anticipate the showroom will be closed for some time.
“The Newcastle store will be open as usual.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police, which was alerted to the blaze by the fire service, said: “We are currently treating the cause of the fire as suspected arson.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 74 280719 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”