A JOINT police and fire investigation is underway to determine the cause of a blaze at a community centre.
Eight fire appliances were sent to tackle a fire at Thornley and District Community Centre, in Hartlepool Street, Thornley.
The nearby junction of Hartlepool Street and Moor View Road had to be cordoned off.
Four senior fire officers, including a hazardous materials officer, were also at the scene.
The blaze broke out about 6pm on Sunday and worried locals contacted the fire brigade after seeing smoke billowing from the roof of the two-storey building, which closed earlier this year.
Seven fire engines and an aerial ladder platform attended the incident, with crews from across County Durham, including two from Peterlee and one from Wheatley Hill, dispatched to the scene.
A Durham Police spokeswoman said: “There is a joint investigation underway with the fire brigade at the moment to determine whether or not the cause was suspicious.”