Hundreds watched on as a disused building on the seafront at Seaton Carew went up in flames.
Firefighters were called to the Longscar building at around 8pm yesterday to tackle the blaze, which ripped through the building causing massive damage.
Crews returned to the vacant building this morning to continue their work, as members of the public wait with bated breath for an update.
Flick through our picture gallery to see the devastation and damage caused by the flames, which took the efforts of eight appliances.
The privately-owned building has been empty since 2009, with Hartlepool Borough Council having a Compulsory Purchase Order rejected.
In November, the authority agreed to a programme of work to upgrade the existing car park near to the centre, as well as changes to the layout, landscape improvements and seating provision.
•Thanks to Trevor Sherwood - Police Hour for releasing the attached footage above. Thank you to John David McDade, Jay Petch and Chris Tritschler for the photographs.