A FIRE which gutted a house on a caravan park is being treated as arson.

Durham police has confirmed that the blaze at a property at Dale View Caravan Park, in Middleton-in-Teesdale, is being treated as suspicious.

Emergency services were called to the main house at the site at around 4.30am on Wednesday.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service sent five appliances and a specialist aerial ladder platform from Darlington Fire Station to the scene and it took firefighters several hours to extinguish the fire.

Significant structural damage was caused to the building, rendering it unsafe.

Nobody was injured.

Caravan park owner, Leanne Palethorpe shared the news on Facebook hours after the fire was put out.

She said: “There has been a serious incident on Dale View. Unfortunately the main house has been on fire and has suffered serious structural damage. Luckily nobody has been injured.

“No caravans have been affected. As you would appreciate there are going to be many major issues repairs to make it safe.

“I would like you to appreciate the situation and please be patience as it’s very dangerous.”

Speaking today, Ms Palethorpe said she was still in shock over the incident but thanked everyone for their support.

She said: “Thank you all so much for your kind words and support.

“I am absolutely devastated at what has happened.

“We will bounce back and thank you all for offering your help it’s very much appreciated.

“We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends.”

A spokeswoman for Durham police said: “The incident is currently being treated as arson. Anybody with information should call police on 101 quoting reference number 26 of January 31, alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.”