PUB staff and customers had to be evacuated after a fire started in the toilets.
Two fire engines were sent to Hartlepool Navy Club, in Murray Street, around 4.45pm on Wednesday.
Fire chiefs say a barmaid had noticed sparks coming from a hand drier in the female toilets, but by the time she returned with a ‘do not use’ label, smoke was already billowing from the machine.
The drier caught fire, destroying the machine and leading to slight smoke damage and significant fire damage to the toilets.
Two barmaids and three customers had to be evacuated as fire crews tackled the flames, with two firefighters sent in to the toilets wearing breathing apparatus.
A Stranton Fire Station spokesman said: “The toilets were gutted.
“We believe it was an electrical fault.”
The crews spent 45 minutes at the scene, and a crew was later called to a rubbish fire on the Park View Industrial Estate, at 7.15pm.