Neighbours and witnesses can be heard screaming in the clip, shared online following yesterday evening’s blaze. A window had blown out of the top floor of the vacant property in Hartlepool, County Durham. Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade and ambulance service colleagues were called to the house at around 7.50pm.
One resident said the whole street was evacuated as black smoke began to travel down it.
A video filmed by the resident shows horrific footage of the fire and witnesses shouting and screaming, Teesside Live reports.
In the video, a number of loud bangs can be heard as the fire engulfs the property. One woman said: “It was terrifying – I ran back home from the park when I saw it. It’s horrific. This is a nice street, there’s nice kids here.”
She said police had already been nearby for an unrelated matter when the house went up in flames which was “very lucky”. The street was evacuated for approximately three hours before being allowed to return to their homes.
Pictures of the scene show an entire window on the ground after being blown off the property and the extent of the damage to the brickwork. Police put a number of local road closures in place whilst emergency services dealt with the incident.
North East Ambulance Service confirmed two hazardous area response teams, an ambulance and a doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance service were present. All teams stood down on the scene as there were no patients requiring treatment.
One 28-year-old Mitchell Street resident, who wanted to be known just as Sheila, said: “It was a huge shock. The fire was unusual as the police were there quickly searching everyone.” One man came to see the extent of the damage after hearing about the incident from a friend. He said: “It’s a miracle the house next door didn’t go up.”
A juvenile male was arrested and remains in custody and is being questioned. A crime scene investigation van remained on the scene as enquiries continued.
Cleveland Police have now appealed for anyone with information, CCTV, or dashcam footage which could help enquiries to get in touch. They have been asked to contact Cleveland Police via the 101-number quoting ref 105356 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously at www.crimestopers-uk.org