Van catches fire after colliding with pub
An investigation is under way into how a van carrying bricks caught fire after it was reversed into the gable end of a pub.
The emergency services were called to Hogan's in Stoney Lane, Southwick, just before 3am today after the Ford Transit collided with the side of the pub facing into the car park.
A crew of firefighters from Marley Park were called to the scene, with two officers wearing breathing apparatus using hose reels to put out the fire.
The team stayed on site until after 4am to carry out additional checks to make sure the blaze was out, as the van had been loaded with bricks.
They used a thermal imaging camera to confirm the fire was fully out.
No structural damaged was caused to the building, but an area of smoke damage was left by the incident.
A pile of bricks, tyres and radiators remains in the car park today.
One 27-year-old man who lives near the scene said: "I heard a noise, a really loud and then could hear a continuous sound after that.
"We didn't see any lights or sirens after that."
A 21-year-old woman added: "I heard the bang, a really big bang and I looked out the window, but I couldn't see what was going on."
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police are investigating a fire at Hogans Bar in Stoney Lane in Sunderland.
"The incident happened at 2.55am this morning, Friday, December 22.
"Any witnesses are asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 113 221217 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."