Riot police were called to a Washington street today after reports that a man was threatening to torch himself and his home.
The drama unfolded at a semi-detached property in Weardale Avenue, Usworth, just after 1.40pm.
Eight police cars and two vans attended at the scene, where it was believed a man had doused himself in petrol, and was refusing to come out of a house.
The area was cordoned off for the safety of the public, and fire crews and paramedics were also placed on standby.
The incident ended peacefully when the man was arrested three and a half hours later.
Several upstairs windows in the property were smashed, and a Gentoo workman was called to board them up.
One onlooker at the scene said: “There was someone in a house refusing to come out.
“He was rumoured to have doused himself in petrol.
“But it looks like it’s came to an end without anything serious happening, thank God.”
Another neighbour said: “As far as I know a man was kicking off and punched all the windows out.
“He said he had doused the house in petrol and was going to set it alight.
“There were police everywhere, riot vans, dog units, armed response, as well as fire engines.
“Nobody could get in or out of the street. Police arrested him and took him away.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “At 1.41pm this afternoon, police received a report of concern for the welfare of a man at Weardale Avenue, Washington.
“Specialist officers attended to help the man for his own safety, and a cordon was put in place as a precaution.
“At 5.13pm a 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and remains in police custody.
“There was not believed to have been any risk to the wider public during the incident.”