Police officers who rescued a man from a burning building during the recent firefighters' strike are to be commended for their bravery in the line of duty.
A second man died in the fire less than a week ago.
On Tuesday, December 9, police officers were called to a flat in Northcote Avenue following reports of a fire.
On arrival, officers discovered that the occupant of the upstairs flat was trapped by rising smoke from the blaze in the property below. Before a team of non-striking firefighters - known as a Resilience Team - arrived at the scene - PC William Hunter and PC Paul Cullen decided to enter the property to rescue the man.
It was only later that the body of a man was found in the burnt-out downstairs flat. He has been named as Kevin Gray, who was 35.
Now, Chief Constable Sue Sim is to commend the officers for their bravery and quick thinking which resulted in one man escaping with minor injuries.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has said they are "confident the scheme put before Parliament is one of the best in the public sector".
It follows the death of a man in a fire in a flat on Wearside. The fire took place during the fire fighters 24 hour strike over pensions.
Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling says his crews responded immediately after receiving a call to last night's fire in Sunderland, despite the 24 hour strike.
He added that there was no delay in responding. He admits crews were a mixture of full time and reserve firefighters, rather than entirely full time crews which would have been used if the dispute had not been taking place.
He said it is 'impossible' to determine if anything would have happened differently if the strike was not on.
Investigations are being carried out to find the cause of a fatal fire in Sunderland.
The building, on Northcote Avenue in Hendon, was well alight when fire crews arrived at the scene just before midnight.
The body of a man was found in the downstairs flat. A man in an upstairs flat was rescued.
It was a team of volunteers put together to provide emergency cover during firefighter strikes which dealt with a fatal fire in Sunderland last night.
The Resilience Team is made up of higher-ranking fire officers who are not taking part in the stoppages, and trained crew members who are from a wide variety of background, and are not full-time firefighters.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Baines told ITV Tyne Tees that the crews are very well trained, and were deployed to this incident without delay. The building, on Northcote Avenue in Hendon, was well alight when they arrived at the scene just before midnight.
A man in an upstairs flat was rescued, and it wasn't known at the time whether anyone was in the property below it at the time. Fire crews wearing masks to help them breath entered the ground floor property where they found the body of a man.
His identity has not been revealed.
A man has died in a fire in a flat in the Hendon area of Sunderland during the night.
It happened during a national 24-hour firefighter strike, which is due to finish at 9am today.
More details to follow.
A man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a man after an argument over his pet.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Arron Morgan believed David Gray posed some sort of threat to his pet and warned him he would kill him after a row last summer.
Mr Morgan broke into Mr Gray's home in Hendon and turned on the gas hoping Mr Gray would light a cigarette and blow himself up.
The court heard how Arron Morgan realised he was risking someone's life and raised the alarm before any actual damage was done.
Mr Morgan pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill and burglary.
Judge James Goss QC sentenced Arron Morgan to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and a three-month night time curfew.
Police are investigating after a woman was raped in Sunderland. A 25-year-old left the Ling Sun takeaway on Vine Street, Hendon, at 2.30am. She found herself on Prospect Row some time later, she was distressed and knocked on someone's door for help.
Police want to speak to anyone with any information.