A FIRE at a former nightclub is being treated as arson.

Firefighters were called to the former club in Commercial Street, Darlington, overnight between Monday and Tuesday.

The blaze at the venue – which has had a number of guises over the years including the Plastered Parrot, Mr Bojangles, Cactus Jacks, Zhivagos, The Lounge, and Buffalo Joe’s – started at about midnight, with crews leaving the scene at about 4.30am.

Dave Glendenning, divisional manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it was being treated as a suspected arson.

The Northern Echo:

He said: "We have had some problems there over the last few months. It's an issue we need to look at and see what we can do to secure it. It's in a very poor state of repair. People need to stay away from buildings like that."

He added: "There are potential holes in the floor and in the roof. It's a dangerous building to be entering.

"We will be doing something with the local authority and will try to get hold of the owner."