Sunderland takeaway and flats damaged in suspected arson attack
A blaze at a Sunderland takeaway and two flats is being treated as a suspected arson.
Crews from Marley Park, Sunderland and Washington fire stations were called to Indian restaurant and takeaway Forhan's, on Ethel Terrace in Castletown, at 2.39am.
The takeaway was severely damaged by heat and smoke and two adjoining flats were also damaged.
The people inside the flats were able to get themselves out of the building uninjured.
Police and fire crews were still at the scene this morning and the cause of the blaze is being treated as a suspected arson.
A clean up operation was taking place today. A front window appeared to have been blown out and damage inside the takeaway could clearly be seen from outside.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At 2.50am today police were alerted to a fire at a premises on Ethel Terrace, Sunderland.
“Emergency services attended the scene and the blaze was extinguished. Nobody was injured.
“At this stage, police are treating the cause of the fire as suspected arson. Inquiries are ongoing."
Following the blaze the owners of Forhan's posted on Facebook how their thoughts were with the families whose homes had been damaged.
The business said it would also be closed for a while.
It said: "Forhan's will be closed for the time being due to a fire that’s happened in the middle of the night.
"We are absolutely gutted for the families who have lost their homes barely a month before Christmas, but thankfully no one has been hurt.
"We will be back up and running as soon as we can get sorted."
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "At 2.39am firefighters from Marley Park, Sunderland Central and Washington Community Fire Stations attended Ethel Terrace in Castletown.
"This was a two-storey mid-terrace property comprising of a ground floor of a takeaway shop and a flat above."
"The cause is currently under investigation."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 78 151118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.