Firefighters are today investigating the cause of a huge blaze at a derelict hotel and bar on Seaham’s seafront.
Properties and homeowners had to be evacuated after fire broke out at the Harbour View Hotel on the seafront last night.
The back of the three-storey property collapsed and crews had to stop the blaze spreading to other buildings.
The fire started shortly after 10pm, and a family in a flat next door were woken and forced to flee as smoke came through the walls.
Firefighters remained on scene overnight to ensure the blaze didn’t flare up again.
Inspector Jason Meecham of Durham Constabulary said: “Due to the intensity of the fire, the building has partially collapsed onto the pavement and road.
“North Terrace remains closed to both pedestrians and vehicles pending a structural assessment.
“A joint fire and police investigation into the cause of the fire will continue this morning.”