Fire service and police experts are beginning an investigation after a former pub building was damaged by fire.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service sent four pumps and an aerial ladder platform to tackle the fire at the Goldmine pub in Cowley Street, Shotton Colliery, was found on fire shortly after 5.30am yesterday.
Water jets were used to bring the blaze under control, with a large amount of smoke to pillow from the roof of the two-storey building.
Firefighters spent more than two hours on the scene.
Today, investigators from the service and Durham Constabulary will return to the building as an inquiry is launched into the cause of the incident.
Police have confirmed it is being treated as suspicious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 and quote incident number DHM-26022017-0095.