Two ponies had a lucky escape after their stables at a Wearside allotment site were destroyed by fire.
Crews from Sunderland Central, North Moor and Marley Park fire stations were called to the blaze at Pallion Allotment, just off European Way, at about 4.50am this morning.
It has totally destroyed the caravan and the stables as well.RSPCA inspector Lindsey Avery
A total of four sheds and one caravan in one single large allotment were destroyed by the fire, which is under investigation.
Firefighters used main jets to put out the blaze and fire crews left the scene at 6.50am after damping down at the site, which contains about 40 allotments.
RSPCA inspector Lindsey Avery, who was at the scene after the fire, said both ponies were unharmed after being checked over after the ordeal.
“When I arrived here the fire was already out, but you could see the it had been a large one,” said the inspector.
“It has totally destroyed the caravan and the stables as well.
“Thankfully, the ponies were moved to a more secure, safe area and they seemed fine when we looked at them.
“They were not injured, scalded or burnt and seemed not to be suffering from smoke inhalation, even though they will have been frightened by what happened here.
“We haven’t been able to contact whoever owns the allotment yet, but we just want to let people know that we are here to help when things like this happen, whatever time it is.”
One allotment owner, who did not want to be named, told the Echo: “I just came over this morning and saw that allotment all burnt out.
“There haven’t really been any fires here that I can think of.
“There’s no trouble at the place usually.
“If it has been started on purpose then I don’t know how whoever started it got in, as the front gates were all locked at the time of the fire.
“You can hear the water running from there now, because the fire must have burst one of the pipes in there.
“It’s a real mess.”