FIREFIGHTERS rescued two people from a burning building in Sunderland today.
Five crews were called to Chester Oval, off Chester Road, after a blaze broke out in a four-storey block of flats.
A fire started on the fourth floor landing outside one of the flats.
Firefighters used a ladder to rescue a man from a balcony, and they also led a woman to safety, after being called out at about 1.15am.
The pair were given oxygen at the scene and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital as a precaution.
Acting watch manager Bob Jones said the cause of the blaze was now being investigated by the fire and rescue service and Sunderland CID.
He said the blaze had started in a pile of rubbish and old furniture in a hallway leading to two of the flats.
“Obviously that blocked their only way out,” he said.
“It’s important to stress the importance of putting your rubbish in a proper container in a designated area.
“If you block your egress off, it can cause big problems – especially if you live on the fourth floor.”
Crews from Sunderland, North Moor and Fulwell fire stations were dispatched to deal with the blaze.
The landing was damaged by fire and smoke.
Firefighters used a hose, breathing apparatus and a specialist fan system known as positive pressure ventilation to tackle the flames and clear the building of smoke.