AN investigation is under way into how a major blaze started on a Hartlepool industrial estate.
Up to 50 firefighters from all over the region battled the fire of waste material inside a large storage shed at Graythorp Industrial Estate.
The blaze broke out at Hartlepool Erection Group on Tees Road, Hartlepool, shortly before 8.50pm on Sunday.
No one was inside the building at the time, and the cause is a mystery.
Town fire chiefs told the Mail how they fought the flames in difficult conditions.
It took firefighters around four hours to put the blaze out.
Ronnie Olds, a crew manager at Stranton Fire Station, said: “It was a large commercial storage shed which had a large quantity of mixed materials and plastics which had caught light.
“Due to the nature of the fire the shed was deemed to be unstable which impaired our operations.
“There is an ongoing investigation into the cause. We were still there in the early hours until it came under control.
“It took quite a while to get it under control due to the added complications of the weather and the structural stability of the shed.
“The cause is being investigated by brigade personnel.”
The shed was around a quarter full and the fire sent large plumes of smoke into the air.
At its height, nine fire vehicles attended the incident to get enough water onto the flames.
They included six fire engines, a hydraulic platform and the commander control unit.
It was around 1.30am before the fire was put out and the fire service’s presence started to be scaled down.
But a number of crews stayed on scene damping down the shed until yesterday morning.
The shed measured around 150ft long, 90ft wide and 60ft high.
Crews from Billingham and Stockton also attended.
The business is not believed to have been in operation for several years.