A number of strange 'explosions' were heard in Hebburn after a wooden playhouse caught fire.
The blaze, which was accidental, spread to a nearby fence and destroyed two green houses next door.
A shed also suffered damage during the fire which started at 11.09pm.
Officers from Hebburn Fire Station spent an hour tackling the flames in Witton Road.
Residents reported hearing 'loud bangs'.
One said: "I heard several loud bangs, like mini explosions."