Cowgate fire leaves 500 homes without power

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The fire broke out at about 15:20 GMT on Ponteland RoadImage source, Google
Image caption,
The fire broke out at about 15:20 GMT on Ponteland Road

Five hundred homes were left without power in freezing temperatures after an underground electrical fire.

Northumbria Police declared a major incident in the Cowgate area of Newcastle, with the Morrisons supermarket on Two Ball Lonnen used as a "rest centre".

The fire broke out at about 15:20 GMT on Tuesday on Ponteland Road.

The force tweeted at 01:00 on Wednesday that power "has been restored to all affected homes".

The fire was brought under control by Tyne and Wear Fire Service, with no injuries reported and only minor traffic disruption.

However, it knocked out power to hundreds of homes, and, due to "cold temperatures and adverse weather", police declared a major incident.

Supt George Maratty said it was "uncomfortable" and "very dangerous" for vulnerable residents to be left without central heating.

He also thanked staff at Morrisons who kept the store open past its usual 22:00 closing time and provided hot food and drinks.

He added: "I want to personally thank the local community for their co-operation tonight. It has been a tough evening but everyone has come together to look after each other during the disruption."

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