A woman, two children, and a dog were rescued from their burning home last night.
Firefighters were called to Nelson Close in Horden at about 11pm after a fire started in the kitchen.
The woman was advised by the 999 call taker to move to a room away from the fire to await rescue.
Firefighters from Peterlee and Wheatley Hill put out the fire.
The occupants were rescued from a front bedroom by ladder.
They were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, but are not thought to be seriously injured.
The kitchen of the semi-detached house was severely damaged, and the rest of the house was smoke-logged.