The Longscar building on The Front in Seaton Carew was the scene of a huge blaze on Tuesday evening.
Five fire crews, ambulances and police deployed to the scene just after 8pm.
Northern Powergrid is working to restore power to 60 homes they say “We’ve had to switch off the power for safety purposes whilst our engineers work on cables and equipment that serves the area”.
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The building has laid empty for years, Hartlepool Council attempted to place a compulsory purchase order on the site to ensure it would be re-developed without success.
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Many locals would argue that the site should be flattened to make way for the re-development of Hartlepool Seaton Sea Front after the building has been left to rot since 2009.
Emergency services received a call just after 8 pm with two fire crews deployed to the scene.
Further support was required and a major incident was declared.
The North East Ambulance Service and Police attended and assisted with local road closures and crowd control.
A Hydraulic platform was sent to the scene allowing firefighters to tackle the fire from above.
A number of areas of the Longscar building was on fire it’s not yet known if these were separate fires or if the fire had spread quickly and took hold of the building.
A spokeswoman for the brigade said: “We were called at 8.02pm to the old Longscar Centre, in Seaton.
“After sending two crews, the officer in charge asked for another three.
“There is smoke coming from all parts of the building.”