Fire chiefs probe cause of blaze which ripped through disused Sunderland college

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Firefighters are today investigating the cause of a big blaze at a derelict college building in Sunderland.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the fire broke out at the former Thornbeck College site in Carley Hill Road on Saturday.

Firefighters at the scene of Saturday's blaze at the former Thornbeck College in Carley Hill, Sunderland.

Firefighters at the scene of Saturday's blaze at the former Thornbeck College in Carley Hill, Sunderland.

The first floor and the roof of the building were severely damaged in the blaze, whose cause is being investigated.

Residents living nearby were urged to keep their doors and windows closed, as it was believed the property may contain asbestos.

Firefighters were seen using aerial ladder platforms to spray water jets onto the top of the building and dampen the fire.

The North East Ambulance Service’s hazardous area response team was also present at the scene.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at the former Thornbeck College site in Sunderland. Pic: Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at the former Thornbeck College site in Sunderland. Pic: Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service.

The building had previously been the Carley Hill part of the old Thornhill Park School before becoming Thornbeck College.

A statement from TWFRS yesterday read: “Last night’s fire at Thornbeck College, #CarleyHill road in Sunderland saw our crews attend with four fire engines and two aerial ladder platforms. First floor and roof severely damaged by fire. Great work by our firefighters to keep our communities safe.”

Northumbria Police said its officers had also attended the fire at the derelict property.

The force tweeted: “The building may contain asbestos which is being blown around in the wind.

“Residents in Carley Hill and Southwick are asked to keep doors and windows closed until advised.”