A FIRE, which broke out in the early hours of the morning, has destroyed a flat above some shops in Middlesbrough.

Emergency services were called to Palladium Shops, in Grove Hill, at around 4.45am, Saturday December 14, after a fire broke out in a flat above Heron Foods.

Fire crews remained on scene until 11am and a cordon was in place on Eastbourne Road until around 9.30am, meaning some shops were unable to open.

The flat has been badly damaged by the fire while One Stop and Heron Foods remained closed during the day.

A tenant in a next-door flat said himself and his flatmate were forced to evacuate their property when they were alerted to the blaze.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: "We were called at 4.44am to reports of a fire in Eastbourne Road, in Middlesbrough.

"Five appliances were dispatched, with the hydraulic platform, at one point."