An arson investigation has been launched after an explosion at a warehouse, it has been reported.
The explosion at Peterlee Building Supplies, in Yoden Way, Hartlepool, was thought to have been caused by gas cylinders placed on a forklift truck, the Peterlee Mail said.
Highly-flammable propane cylinders had exploded and caused the roller shutter doors of the building to buckle, fire crew manager Richard Morgan said.
The forklift truck was powered by a gas cylinder and was destroyed, while the force of the explosion blew the roof off the building, which subsequently caved in.
Fire crews were told by the owner of the building that he had left the premises secure.
Mr Morgan told the publication: "They have managed to force their way in. They stuck two other cylinders on top of the forklift truck and by the looks of it they set fire to the seat of the forklift truck."
Employers at small businesses who are concerned about the costs of an arson attack can read Norwich Union Risk Services’ Hardfact on minimising the risk of such an incident. Keeping physical security well maintained is one way people could prevent an arson attack.