Firefighters spent more than two hours tackling a fire at two empty properties in a row of terraced houses in a Count Durham village this evening (Monday, September 18).

The alarm was raised after a fire broke out in a derelict property, before spreading to a neigbhouring  house in Bouch Street, Shildon, shortly after 7pm.

Police and firefighters converged on the scene as residents came out to watch the drama unfold.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service dispatched three appliances and an aerial ladder platform to deal the fire.

The fire was prevented from spreading to neigbhouring properties, which were occupied. The cause of the fire will be investigated.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue service group manager Michael Pearson said: “We were called at 7:15 to a derelict house on fire in Bouch Street, Shildon.

“The fire was in a line of terraced houses and there were two properties affected through their roof spaces.

“The fire started in a derelict and boarded up property, so there were no concerns about any people being there.

“We had three appliances on the scene, as well as an aerial ladder platform to help us get to the roof space.

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“The fire spread through the roof space to an adjacent empty property. Both properties had damage to the roof space.

“People came out of their houses to watch but there was no need to evacuate anyone.”

"A joint investigation will be held with Durham Police to establish the cause of the fire.”