Fire service release dramatic drone footage of huge blaze at recycling plant in Birtley

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have released the footage a day after they confirmed the fire had been fully extinguished.  Credit: TWFRS

Fire crews who spent days tackling a huge blaze at a Tyneside recycling plant have released dramatic drone footage showing the scale of the incident.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have released the footage a day after they confirmed the fire at the site in Birtley had been fully extinguished.

Emergency crews were called at 10.38pm on Monday 7 February and firefighters were on scene within just four minutes.

Over the course of four days, more than 60 firefighters were at the scene, using drones, aerial ladder platforms and thermal imaging cameras to bring the blaze under control.

On Thursday (10 February), the Service confirmed that the fire had been fully extinguished and that the last of the crews had left the site on Durham Road. 

Footage from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service shows the scale of the blaze

Speaking on Thursday, Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther praised TWFRS staff. He said “It’s been an incredibly tough four days for our operational crews and staff but I couldn’t be more proud of the way they have stepped up to the challenge. 

“It’s not often that incidents like this happen in our region but I hope that this response shows our local communities that we will always be there when they need us.

“This is why we practice and test our skills because when things like this happen we are quick into action and know what needs doing.

“I also want to thank our partners who have helped us throughout the four day effort, working so closely and sharing knowledge is key in situations like this and without them it would have been incredibly difficult.

"We work with blue light and other partners on the basis of Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Principles (JESIP) and these have stood us in good stead in working to resolve this emergency and support public safety.

“I’m extremely proud of my staff for their response.”

A full investigation is now underway into the incident and TWFRS are supporting Northumbria Police who are treating the incident as suspected arson.

A 19-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday but has since been released under investigation.