Sunderland takeaway targeted in suspected arson attack also hit by thieves

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Bosses at a Sunderland takeaway badly damaged in a suspected arson attack say they have also been victims of theft.

Police are continuing to investigate a blaze which tore through Forhan's and two adjoining flats, in Ethel Terrace in the Castletown area, forcing people to flee their homes in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The scene at Forhan's takeaway in Ethel Terrace, Castletown, following a fire yesterday

The scene at Forhan's takeaway in Ethel Terrace, Castletown, following a fire yesterday

But as well seeing their Indian restaurant and takeaway badly hit by the fire, bosses also say that money was taken from the till.

In a post on Facebook they said: "We’ve been in with the police and fire to assess damage and see where we can go from here and noticed our till tray is empty.

"So not only were we burned out yesterday we were also robbed (just the float).

"We will do our best to be reopened as soon as we can and are so grateful for the well wishes, love and support. Thanks again."

Investigating officers believe the fire was started deliberately and it is being treated as a suspected arson attack.

People inside the flats above the takeaway and neighbouring stores fled their homes and no one was injured in the blaze, which broke out shortly after 2.30am today.

Those who work in Ethel Terrace have spoken of their shock at the incident.

A spokesperson from Northumbria Police said: "We can confirm police are also investigating a report of theft as part of our enquiries into the fire at a premises on Ethel Terrace yesterday (Thursday).

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 78 151118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Fire crews from three different Wearside stations went to the scene to put out the blaze.

A front window had been blown out and extensive damage inside the takeaway could clearly be seen from outside.