OUR photographer Sarah Caldecott traveled to the scene of a major fire at an old recycling plant.
Emergency services were called to the Shee Recycling site in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, at around 11pm last night.
Firefighters remained on site overnight and continue to deal with the damage today.
Residents reported a drop in water pressure and were advised to close their windows until the smoke cleared.
Read more: Recycling plant destroyed by massive fire is under criminal investigation
The smoke also affected traffic in the area and closed two primary schools.
Deputy Fire Chief Peter Heath, of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘We are currently still seeing an incident at a commercial property on Durham Road in Birtley.
“However, we are aware of the incident and have progressed from a major incident to a major fire and have started to reduce our presence.
“We will be on site for the remainder of today and most of tomorrow to secure the site and begin our investigation into the cause of the fire.
“Fortunately, there were no casualties from this incident and none of our firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.
“We would like to thank our partners for working with us in this situation and keeping the community safe.
“There is still a significant amount of smoke in the air and as the wind picks up and heads north it will start to move towards the A1.
“So please keep your windows and doors closed and stay away from the site as much as possible.”
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