THREE people have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a fire ripped through a flat.
The blaze broke out at around 9.30am on Saturday in the two-storey end terrace building in Burnville Road South, in the Eden Vale area of Sunderland.
Neighbours reported hearing banging noises, before seeing smoke billowing out into the street through the bay window at the front of the property.
A team of fire-fighters from Sunderland Central fire station were called out to tackle the flames. The flat’s only resident was inside as the blaze broke out but had managed to escape unharmed through a back door before fire crews arrived.
It took fire-fighters around an hour to ensure the site was safe after the fire, which destroyed the sitting room and caused smoke damage to the rest of the property.
Crews broke windows at the front of the house as they fought to extinguish the flames.
Police and ambulance crews were also called out to the incident.
The windows remained boarded up yesterday.
Northumbria Police revealed they have arrested a 20-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man on suspicion of arson.
They have both been released on police bail, pending further enquiries.
Officers also detained a 26-year-old man on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.
He continues to assist police with their enquiries.