A DARLINGTON mother says she has 'lost everything' after fire ripped through her home.

Two male youths have been arrested on suspicion of arson following the fire in Aldborough Walk, in the Lascelles Park area of the town, shortly after 4.35pm on Saturday.

They were interviewed and released on bail pending further investigation.

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The blaze was one of a number of incidents reported during a seven-hour strike by members of the Fire Brigade Union.

A fire service spokeswoman said three crews and an aerial ladder platform attended the scene.

No one was injured in the incident, but a significant amount of damage was caused.

Fire broke out in the back yard of the end property in a four-house terrace.

That property, which was not occupied, was very seriously damaged and it seems likely it will need to be demolished.

The householder of the second property, which also suffered significant damage, was too upset to speak, other than to say: "I have lost everything, all me and my girls have is the clothes we stand up in."

Neighbours are rallying round to help the family and have talked about organising a collection for their benefit.

The fire was one of seven incidents attended by Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service during yesterday's strike, which ran from 10am to 5pm.

The other incidents were; a house fire in Barnard Castle, fields on fire in Darlington, a house fire in Consett, an automatic fire alarm at Darlington, a house fire at Shildon, and a fire in the plant room of a hotel in Durham.

Stuart Errington, deputy chief fire officer, said: “Whilst our resilience plans have worked well, for a period of time our resources were stretched as we dealt with the large fire in Darlington and a number of other incidents at the same time.

"I would like to thank all of our staff: resilience officers, normal fire crews and control room operators who worked really hard in difficult circumstances to deal with these incidents successfully."

A police presence has been maintained near the affected properties this morning.