A crew of fire officers forced open entry to a boarded up house after concerns were raised about a gas leak.
A crew from Hartlepool Stranton Fire Station were called to Richardson Street at 12.30am today.
The gas engineer was awaiting the arrival of a joiner, but the officers were able to use their tools to get into the derelict terrace house and allow him in.
The team were on the scene for around an hour as they helped ensure there was no longer a risk.
The house is awaiting demolition.