Firefighters were tackling a blaze at a church in Tyne and Wear which forced nearby residents to be evacuated.
Police officers attended the scene following reports at 8:25pm that the Trinity United Reform church on the Esplanade in Whitley Bay had caught fire.
The Esplanade has been closed, as has the adjacent Whitley Road, to allow police to deal with the incident.
No one was injured and the church was thought to be empty at the time the fire broke out.
Emergency services were at the scene.
A spokeswoman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service told the Press Association: "We still have a number of appliances (at the scene) and four specialist officers."
Inquiries into the cause of the fire will continue after it has been put out, police said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or call the police on 101 and quote log 1028 06/05/17.