A woman was forced to flee a Hartlepool house which caught fire while she was in the shower.
The middle-aged woman escaped from the ‘substantial’ fire in the mid-terraced home in Alliance Street today.
The blaze spread all the way through the house and a joint investigation by police and the fire service is expected to be launched after alarm was raised a 2.14pm.
The incident sparked a huge emergency response, including numerous police cars as well as fire engines.
Cordons were put in place on Alliance Street and around the corner in Trinity Street, off Durham Street.
Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service sent four pumping appliances to the scene.
Two of the fire engines came from Stranton fire station, one came from Headland and one from Stockton.
An hydraulic platform from Saltburn was also in attendance, while three jets were in use.
A huge plume of black smoke could at one point be seen towering over the the Headland.
Station manager Andy Robinson, from Stockton Fire Station, spoke to the Mail at the scene as crews were still dampening down after the blaze.
He said: “It was quite a substantial fire.
“It’s gone right he way through the roof.
“It was a lady in the shower.
“She got out of the shower and could smell smoke.
“She could see the fire down below and she got herself out.
“Due to the nature of the incident we fought the fire externally. It had broken through the roof.
“There will be a joint investigation with the police.
“We have been dampening down after the incident and will be popping back to make sure everything is okay.”