HUNDREDS of workers had to be evacuated after a fire at a fabrication site.
Two crews from Stranton Fire Station spent two hours at the Heerema yard in Hartlepool after an air filtration unit caught fire.
Although only smoke was visible coming from the 6ft free-standing unit, filters inside had set alight.
Crew manager Stuart Anderson said Heerema staff were due to dismantle the machine to determine exactly how the fire started.
He added: “We don’t know how it started.
“It was either a spark or ignition source that has gone into it, or it has overheated.
“It was in one of the large fabrication sheds and was attached to a big tented area.
“They were cutting things with aluminium-based powder and this unit draws out all the fumes.
“A couple of hundred site personnel had to be evacuated.”
The incident happened around 2.30pm on Friday.