A house split into flats was evacuated after a fire started in a cupboard on its stairwell.
Firefighters found six residents who live in flats in Argyle Square, Ashbrooke, Sunderland, already out of the building when they were called to the address at 10.30pm yesterday.
An electrical fault in a communal cupboard had caused the blaze, which caused minor smoke damage to the hallway.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent into the house and used a hose reel to put out the blaze.
The crew from Sunderland Central Fire Station spent an hour at the scene.