A fire ripped through a derelict boutique hotel in Seaham on Sunday night, which saw part of the establishment collapse into the street.
Fire crews battled to extinguish the flames at Harbour View Hotel in Seaham, which was unoccupied at the time, until the early hours of the morning, with local residents evacuated as a precaution.
A spokesman from the Durham and Darlington brigade said the three-storey building had been “well alight.”
As daylight broke it was clear the fire had burned through the roof of the building and that the collapse had sent bricks tumbling into nearby properties.
The police cordon remained in place amid fears the rest of the building could still collapse, while police and fire investigators continued to comb the former hotel for the cause of the blaze.
A spokesman for Durham fire service on Monday night told The Chronicle that its investigations had since concluded, but could not yet reveal why the fire had started.
It is thought the property has been vacant since 2014, ceasing trading after a number of bad reviews on TripAdvisor.