Fire crews believe a blaze at a derelict Chinese restaurant was started deliberately.

Firefighters were called to the closed-down Wok Inn restaurant in Hartlepool shortly after 3.15pm on Tuesday (August 1) afternoon.

The building was found alight with three fire crews attending to tackle the flames.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the fire brigade say they believe it was started deliberately.

A Cleveland Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “We were called to an incident on August 1 at 3.17pm on West View Road in Hartlepool.

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“Three fire engines in attendance from Billingham and Hartlepool. Derelict building alight. 10% fire damage to the ground floor, 100% smoke damage to the ground floor, 40% smoke damage to the first floor. Three hose reels, eight breathing apparatus and positive pressure ventilation used.

“Investigations will begin as per our usual procedure, but the cause is believed to be deliberate. We left the scene at 4.56pm.”

The Northern Echo has contacted Cleveland Police for a statement.