Tyne & Wear

Firefighters hurt in ceiling collapse after arson attack

Firefighters at the scene Image copyright Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Firefighters remained at the scene on Wednesday to secure the building

Two firefighters were injured when a ceiling collapsed on them as they tackled a blaze started by an arsonist.

Both suffered neck injuries inside the former Penshaw House Community Home in Sunderland shortly after 23:30 BST on Tuesday.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was started deliberately.

The firefighters were discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

Assistant chief fire officer Chris Lowther said: "I am absolutely appalled that this has happened.

"Whoever started this fire has put the lives of innocent people at risk and if it wasn't due to the professionalism and training of our excellent firefighters there is no doubt this could have been much more serious."

The firefighters were attempting to open a steel shutter to gain entry through the front door of the property when the ceiling collapsed on them.

They were pulled clear by colleagues and although they were treated for neck injuries and burns, they were not seriously hurt.

The fire is being treated as arson and a joint investigation into the cause of the fire is being under way by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police.

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