Fire crews remain at scene of major Peterlee blaze

Firefighters are still at the scene of a major fire in Peterlee.

Businesses on the South West Industrial Estate were evacuated as gas cylinders exploded at the height of the blaze.

Fire engines at the scene. Picture: Mary Cartwright

Fire engines at the scene. Picture: Mary Cartwright

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has now confirmed the incident is under control.

A statement said: "The large incident at the South West Industrial Estate in Peterlee has now been scaled back.

"The Fire Service will make further visits throughout the day to ensure the scene remains under control."

The incident was initially reported as a large container, a stack of wood and gas bottles on fire with explosions.

Smoke from the blaze. Picture: Mary Cartwright

Smoke from the blaze. Picture: Mary Cartwright

The fire involved Acetylene cylinders and numerous LPG cylinders.

The brigade had six fire engines at the scene, as well as a number of senior offices and a drone.

Loud explosions could be heard by residents nearby and the brigade urged residents to avoid the area.

A spokesman said: "We are currently in attendance at a large fire on South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee, we have a number of appliances in attendance please avoid the area if possible.

"This initially was reported as a large container, a stack of wood and gas bottles on fire with explosions. This is a fire involving Acetylene cylinders and numerous LPG cylinders.

"Further to the incident at Peterlee two jets and one ground monitor in use. There are six fire appliances, the drone and a number of senior officers in attendance.

"The incident has been sectorised and some local businesses have been evacuated."

The blaze is believed to have started at around 6pm.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "We are currently working with fire dealing with a large fire on South West Industrial Estate, Peterlee evacuation is currently on going the incident will have a large impact on the road network in the area and advice is given to avoid the area if possible."

* Video thanks to reader Brandon Saiger