Emergency services have launched an investigation into a suspected arson attack at a North East hotel after the popular venue was heavily damaged by the blaze.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) firefighters were called to report a fire at Chilton Lodge and Country Club, Houghton-le-Spring at around 5.30pm Thursday 23rd June.
Six fire service crews, including crews from High Handenhold, Durham and Consett, plus one from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, to tackle the flames.
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Firefighters extinguished the fire using three jets and left the scene at 10:07 p.m.
On Friday June 24, firefighters and police could be seen on the hotel grounds, with the hotel windows boarded up.
Following the fire, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they had launched a joint investigation with police into the incident.
A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Reports of a fire at Chilton Lodge and Country Club arrived in the CDDFRS control room at 5.27pm yesterday, Thursday, June 23.
“Six aircraft from High Handenhold, Durham, Consett, Aerial Ladder Platform and Bulk Water Carrier plus one aircraft from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident They were able to extinguish the fire using three jets and they left the scene at 10:07 p.m.
“A joint police and fire department investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire.”
Meanwhile, officers have confirmed they are treating the incident as arson.
A Durham Police spokesperson added: “Police were called just after 6.05pm yesterday (June 23) to a fire at Chilton Lodge and Country Club, near Houghton-le-Spring.
“Officers are treating the incident as arson and a joint police and fire investigation is ongoing.”
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