A PET dog was rescued after an arson attack at a house in the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services were called out just before 1am to a house in McGuinness Avenue, in Horden, near Peterlee.

Firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service dealt with the blaze and rescued the animal.

A spokesman for the service said: “Our control room received a call on the 4 August 2020 at approximately 12:35am with reports of a house on fire at an address in the Horden area.

“Two fire engines from Peterlee, one fire engine from Wheatley Hill and the targeted response vehicle from Peterlee attended the incident.

“On arrival the crews found a semi-detached house well alight.

“Two breathing apparatus crews were committed to the house and used two hose reel and two positive pressure ventilation to extinguish the fire.

“Fortunately, there was no one in the house at the time of the fire, but the crews did successfully rescue a pet dog.

“The cause of the fire is unknown, but fire investigators will be on scene carrying out an investigation today.” Police officers are now appealing for information to establish who started the fire.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “We were alerted by the fire service at 12.40am today to a fire at a house in McGuinness Avenue, in Horden.

“Thankfully the property was empty at the time of the blaze and nobody was injured.

“Officers are treating the incident as arson and an investigation is underway.”

Anyone with any information that could help is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident number 17 of August 4.