Scrap Yard Fire (2001)
This scrap yard fire on Tyneside sent thick clouds of black smoke into the air as firefighters spent many hours battling to control the blaze. The pillars of smoke could be seen for over 30 miles as 1000 tonnes of scrap caught fire at an industrial estate in Blaydon. 14 fire appliances were used as well as the Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade boat as it bordered the River Tyne.
A police car blocks the road as firefighters tackle the blaze in the background.
Warning signs are erected on neighbouring roads. Fire engines are used to pump water from hydrants to the fire.
Two of the fire engines on scene.
A general view of the scene from one of the approach roads.
A mobile control unit is set up to co-ordinate resources at the scene.
An aerial platform is used to get water on the seat of the fire.
The plumes of black smoke dwarf a fire appliance.
There is still a sense of urgency to qualm the flames even after three hours of fire-fighting.
A firefighter collects equipment from an appliance.
A Dennis pump (yankee-zero-two from Swalwell, the nearest station) shrouded in the thick smoke.
The same engine from the side
Day is turned into night as we look at the blue lights and head lamps of a fire engine through the smoke.
A Dennis Sabre appliance is being used to pump water.
In the scrap yard which is on fire hoses are scattered like spaghetti.
An aerial platform in use to tackle the blaze.
The prevailing wind is doing a good job of sending the smoke in one direction only. The buildings nearby are dampened down to prohibit any new fires starting.
As two fire fighters take a break for refreshments, their colleague continues to tackle the blaze in the background.
The smoke caused problems on the nearby A1 as traffic had to negotiate fog-like conditions. The smoke could be seen 30 miles away. The police helicopter was used for a short time to determine the centre of the blaze using its thermal imaging camera.
Senior fire officers arrive in their unmarked cars. This Vauxhall Astra is fitted with a double blue flashing light on the roof with built in siren.
A less-than-two-week-old Ford Mondeo is also fitted with the blue light and siren cluster. This vehicles belongs to a Fire Safety Officer.
The rear view of the same vehicle.
The view from a few miles away. The smoke is more grey than black now but is still very visible.
The next day roads around the site remain closed.
The smoke has cleared but firefighters continue to dampen down the piles of scrap metal. Fire investigators believe that a short-circuited car battery started the fire.
A Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade appliance with doors and shutters left open as firefighters have jumped out.
The rear view of the same appliance.