A TEENAGER has been arrested after a suspected arson attack at a block of flats in South Tyneside.
Firefighters from South Shields and Hebburn stations were called to Iona Road in Brockley Whins, Jarrow, at about 6pm on Saturday.
They arrived to find two flats were on fire.
Fire officers say there were signs of forced entry at the rear of the ground floor flat and that the blaze is being treated as arson.
Police said they have arrested an 18-year-old, who is helping with inquiries.
Firefighters had to break down the door of the upstairs flat to gain access.
Both flats are occupied but all residents were out at the time of the blaze and nobody was injured.
The downstairs property was severely damaged by the fire and the upstairs flat was left smoke damaged.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “An 18-year-old youth has been arrested and is helping police with inquiries following a suspected arson in Jarrow.
“At about 6pm on Saturday evening, police and the fire service were called to Iona Road where two flats were on fire.
“The occupants of both flats were out at the time and no one was injured.”
The blaze was tackled by two fire crews from South Shields and one from Hebburn.
Anyone who has information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191.