This was the aftermath of a fire started by arsonists after waste was dumped at the rear of homes.
Firefighters in Sunderland are urging residents to get rubbish removed or disposed of safely after a blaze at a house in Millfield.
Crews were called to Rosedale Street after reports of a garage on fire at the rear of a dormer cottage.
It was initially feared people may be trapped inside, but it was quickly established the property was empty.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service say arsonists ignited a pile of rubbish which had been piled up against the doors of the garage.
The dumped items included mattresses, doors, sofas and gym equipment.
Station manager Steve Graham said: "This is a prime example of what can happen if rubbish is just left in the open.
"It becomes a prime target for someone to set a fire, which could potentially have devastating consequences.
“We would urge people to contact their local council to get bulky items removed, or to take them to the local tip where they can be recycled or safely disposed of.
“On a similar theme, we have also been called out to deal with fires started in wheelie bins which in some cases have been put out for collection perhaps too early.
"It would help if people could put their bins out on the day of collection and not before, this will help reduce the easy opportunities for potential arsonists.”
The fire happened at 3.40am on Friday.