Probe into Hartlepool joiner’s blaze

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An investigation is being be launched to discover the cause of a large fire in a joiner’s shop.

Part of the building in Flaxton Street, Hartlepool, was left structurally unsound after the blaze broke out at around 5.30am on New Year’s Eve.

The street, off Elwick Road, was taped off by the fire brigade for several hours while they tackled the fire which brought a ceiling down.

Three fire engines and a hydraulic platform filled the street and were used to put the fire out.

Fire watch manager Andy Hardy, of Stranton Fire Station, said: “We are not sure about the cause of the fire at present but that will be under investigation.

“The rear of the property is structurally unsound so we can’t let anybody into the building. It will remain closed until it is deemed safe by the police and a structural engineer.

“It was a big fire, but it was contained within the building. It was confined to the downstairs but it brought a ceiling in.”

Two fire engines from white watch at Hartlepool’s Stranton Station were first on the scene after being alerted to smoke coming from the building.

The owner of the property attended and helped the brigade gain access.

A third engine, from Stockton, was requested to attend, as well as the hydraulic platform from Middlesbrough.

Firefighters used the platform to direct powerful jets of water in through a top floor window of the property.

Watch manager Hardy said it was in an attempt to knock down an unstable wall inside to make the building safer.

A number of residents were disrupted by the fire and due to the cordon but no-one needed to be evacuated.

Charlotte Grange care home, which is on the other side of the road from the building, was also unaffected by the early morning drama.

“We have been quite lucky,” added watch manager Hardy.

Police also attended.