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More than 30 firefighters tackle community centre blaze
FIREFIGHTERS have left the scene of a large fire which began at a community centre.
The alert was raised after residents spotted smoke coming from the roof of the Thornley Community Centre, in Thornley, near Wheatley Hill, County Durham.
The blaze, in the cellar and main hall of the two storey building, was reported shortly after 6pm on Sunday.
At its height 36 firefighters were involved and six fire appliances present at the scene.
Firefighters used breathing apparatus and thermal imaging equipment, while an aerial ladder platform was also in use.
A nearby road was also closed, although this later re-opened. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue said a "stop" message was received by crews at 9.19pm.
The community centre was previously home to the Durham Mining Museum until it moved from the facility in 2011.
Earlier this year Durham County Council said the centre would close after pulling the plug on funding for the facility because of cuts to its budget.
It is understood to have been boarded up for the past few months.
:: Have you been an eyewitness to the blaze? Contact the Northern Echo newsdesk on (01325) 505054 or e-mail email@example.com
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