Firefighters tackle blaze at Northumberland waste disposal site

The fire at the Pegswood waste disposal site.
The fire at the Pegswood waste disposal site.

A fire has broken out at Pegswood waste disposal site and firefighters are warning it could take days to put out.

Four fire appliances and a high volume pump from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, and an aerial ladder platform from Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service, were called to Sanders Plant and Waste Management on Butterwell Drive at 7.32am this morning.

The fire is in a 70 metre x 20 metre steel-framed shed, which is two thirds full of builders rubble and general household waste.

A plume of white smoke rising from the fire is quickly dissipating and the public are reassured by Public Health England and the Environment Agency that there is minimal risk to human and animal health or the environment.

As a precaution, residents immediately downwind of the fire are being visited by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and are being provided with advice.

Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “"I’d just like to reassure the public that the fire is contained and under control. Although there is a smoke plume resulting from the fire, it is not causing ourselves or our partner agencies any concern.

"We will continue to monitor both wind direction and speed and will offer advice to local communities if needed. This will potentially be a protracted incident with Fire and Rescue Service in attendance for some time.”

Environment Agency team leader Tristan Drought said: “The Environment Agency has sent officers to the site to assess the impact of the fire on the environment and will be working with the fire service to investigate the cause of the blaze. “

Water used to put out the fire is being collected in two large holding tanks on the site to prevent any contamination to the local watercourse.

Sanders Waste Disposal site is a licensed waste management site, registered with the Environment Agency. The company primarily collect the content of household skips which is then stored, sorted and recycled.

Agencies on the ground are monitoring the smoke plume and the weather forecast. The wind speed and direction is not set to change over the course of the weekend.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.