Open fire causes house blaze

AN EMPTY house was ravaged by flames after a landlord apparently left an open fire to burn overnight.

He is said by firefighters to have piled up fuel in the fire place and left it to warm up the house as he expected new tenants and didn’t want the pipes to freeze.

But it spilled over and set fire to the front room of the property in Newholme Estate, in Station Town, at around 9pm yesterday.

Watch manager Jack Elliott, of Peterlee Fire Brigade, said: “He had banked the fire right up as he expected more snow to arrive and didn’t want the pipes to freeze. But it spilled over and caused extensive damage to the house.”