A MAJOR fire in County Durham destroyed several cars and spread to a nearby building, as police officers have launched an arson investigation into the incident.

Emergency services were called to the fire at North East Industrial Estate, near to Parsons Road, Peterlee at around 6.30pm on Wednesday (March 23).

There had been reports of a large-scale fire that had started at one of the industrial properties at the site.

When they arrived on scene, fire units from Seaham and Wheatley Hill, as well as police teams, found several cars on fire, which had spread to a nearby building and battled to extinguish the flames.

Read more: Thornaby farm blaze investigated after flames could be seen for miles around

After spending an hour at the scene, firefighters left the industrial estate at 7.25pm.

The Northern Echo: North East Industrial Estate in Peterlee. Picture: GOOGLE.North East Industrial Estate in Peterlee. Picture: GOOGLE.

A County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Reports of a fire on an industrial estate came into CDDFRS control at 6.30pm. Whole time and On-call crews from Seaham and Wheatley Hill all attended the fire on Wednesday, 23 March.

“On arrival it was clear several cars were on fire and had spread into a nearby building. Crews extinguished the fire and left the scene at 7.24pm. Police were informed and attended the incident.”

No injuries were reported during the fire, but several cars were destroyed. 

An arson investigation has been launched by Durham Constabulary in the aftermath of the incident. 

A spokesperson for the police force said: "Officers attended the scene of a fire at a premises on Armstrong Road, Peterlee, last night (Wednesday, March 23) at around 6.50pm.

"No individuals were injured, however a number of vehicles were damaged.

"An arson investigation is currently underway."

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