Tyne & Wear

Crews tackle Sunderland recycling plant fire

Clean-up after the fire at Alex Smiles Ltd
Image caption A clean-up operation is now under way

Firefighters spent most of the night tackling a blaze at a waste recycling plant in Sunderland.

Crews were called to the Alex Smiles site at Deptford Terrace, Sunderland, near the River Wear, shortly before 2100 BST on Friday.

An aerial platform was used to tackle the fire, which involved a large amount of timber, and about 20 firefighters took part in the operation.

The fire was extinguished and crews spent the morning damping it down.

Vigilance thanked

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service group manager John Hall said it had been a difficult operation.

He said: "Once a pile of this size becomes fully involved it is very difficult to get water on to it because the fire tends to burn down within the product and the water we put on tends to run off the top."

He said they would visit the site throughout the day to carry out checks.

Alex Smiles Ltd said the material involved was non-hazardous timber.

It said the Environment Agency and other relevant organisations had been informed.

It thanked members of the public for their vigilance and said the site was open as usual.

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