AN operation was launched to put out a chimney blaze caused by a blockage.
Firefighters from Hartlepool Stranton Fire Station were called to the detached house off The Green in Elwick Village at 2pm today after the homeowner spotted the fire.
The crew put down a sheet to protect the room at the base of the fireplace from dirt and put water at the base of the fire to create steam in the hope it would extinguish the blaze.
When that failed, a firefighter scaled a ladder to the top of the chimney, removed its pot and sent down bursts of water from a hose to put out the fire.
The team spent around 45 minutes at the house.