Firefighters battled a blaze which swept through a derelict factory in Hartlepool. The flames from the fire, which broke out at the old Steetley site just before 5pm, could be seen from across the town.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the inferno, but firefighters believe it was started deliberately.
Firefighters arrived at the former office block in Old Cemetery Road, on the Headland, to find three floors of the large building well alight.
Stranton watch manager Ian Hendry said: "The fire could be seen for miles around. We had hundreds of calls about it.
"The wind was fanning the flames, but fortunately the smoke was blown out to sea and away from homes."
He added: "We believe the fire was started deliberately and an investigation will be carried out.
"This is the first time we have been out to the site in a while. There is a security guard, but it is such a large site and very difficult to keep an eye on everywhere."
Written by Evening Gazette - Middlesbrough
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