Investigation into testing station fire

Firefighters attend the scene of a fire at the Billingham MOT Centre on Marsh House Avenue
Firefighters attend the scene of a fire at the Billingham MOT Centre on Marsh House Avenue

FIREFIGHTERS spent hours dowsing a car garage blaze due to fears over a gas cylinder.

Two people fled the MOT Testing Station, on Leeholme Industrial Estate, Billingham, as flames ripped through the building just after 8am yesterday.

Fire crews from Hartlepool, Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby were all called into action and managed to get the “extensive fire” under control within an hour.

Hartlepool and Stockton firefighters stayed on the scene for a further three hours due to a cylinder of acetylene, a highly flammable chemical often used for welding.

A stretch of Marsh House Avenue was closed while the incident was ongoing.

The cause of the fire is now being investigated.

Kevin Readhead, the officer in charge at the incident, said: “This was an extensive fire which took an hour to get under control. Once it was extinguished we damped down for three hours as a precaution because the fire involved an acetylene cylinder.

“Two people safely self-evacuated from the scene and the cause of the fire is under investigation.”