Neighbours had to flee today as a fire in a terraced house on Wearside threatened to spread to their homes.
The fire broke out at a house in Edward Street, Hetton-le-Hole, at about 1pm today.
Fire crews from Rainton Bridge, Farringdon and Washington were sent to the scene.
The house was empty at the time, according to neighbours.
One neighbour, Debora Herbert, said: "There were people banging on each other's doors because we thought the fire might spread further.
"That's how I found out about it. I've never been as frightened in my life.
"Apparently there was no one in the house where the fire started but the houses on either side have been damaged."
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed that 16 firefighters from Rainton Bridge, Farrington and Washington attended a callout to the two-storey, mid-terraced house.
"Furniture was on fire within the living room, which was severely damaged by heat and fire. The fire spread into the kitchen, which was also severely damaged by fire and smoke.
"Two upstairs bedrooms were damaged by fire and heat and severely damaged by smoke."
The loft space of the house was also damaged by fire and severely affected by smoke.
The spokesman added that two adjoining properties on either side of the terraced house suffered smoke damage.
"The fire was extinguished using three hose reels, six sets of breathing apparatus and three positive pressure ventilators were also used to clear the smoke."