'Horrendous' and 'like a war zone' - Evacuated residents react after mystery Hartlepool blaze

An investigation has started into the cause of a large blaze which forced nearby residents to evacuate their homes and sleep elsewhere overnight.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 5:26 pm

Firefighters remained at the scene of the fire in Station Lane, Seaton Carew, for much of Monday after the flames erupted on land close to nearby allotments at around 7.40pm on Sunday.

Trains on the nearby railway line were halted, roads were closed and an unknown number of Bilsdale Road residents living within 500 metres of the blaze were evacuated.

They were allowed back into their homes shortly after 9am on Monday after staying with friends and family.

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Sunday evening's blaze in Seaton Carew. Picture courtesy of Micheal Rudd/Hartlepool News & Alerts

Sheila Layton, 71, said: "I stayed at a friend's house all night with my dog.

"The fire was horrendous and the black smoke was terrible.

"Something must have happened and it all lit up

"The road was completely blocked off."

Bilsdale Road, in Seaton Carew, remained closed on Monday morning following a nearby allotments fire.

Seaton councillor Sue Little and her husband Paul were also evacuated.

They initially went to their son's over the road until he was told to leave by the authorities.

Sue said: "It looked horrendous. Paul went to put some rubbish out and it was a massive blaze. Explosions going.

"It was like a war zone. It was just so scary and trying to find somewhere for everyone to go.

Fire engine at the scene of the fire on Bilsdale road

"I was just thinking 'please don't hit the houses'."

Those allowed to remain were also warned to close their windows and stay away from the area.

Bilsdale Road’s junction with Kildale Grove was eventually reopened on Monday afternoon and a Cleveland Fire Brigade investigation is underway.

A spokesperson for the service, which had five engines at the scene at the emergency's peak, said on Monday: "A nearby train line was temporarily closed and residents of Bilsdale Road evacuated for their safety while we dealt with the incident, as there were flammable materials stored in the area.

Fire engine at the scene of the fire on Bilsdale road

"One crew is still in attendance damping down and monitoring the scene. Cause is under investigation as our usual procedure.”

Hartlepool Police were also called to the fire with North East Ambulance Service crews briefly present as a precaution.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson added: “We had a presence at the scene and supported the emergency services throughout the incident.

"The fire was on private land adjacent to the allotments and no damage was caused to the allotments themselves.”

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