Fire at derelict Gateshead nursery building being treated as suspected arson

Emergency services are on the scene of a fire in Lobley Hill, Gateshead. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

An investigation is underway following a large fire at a disused building in Gateshead.

Plumes of thick smoke could be seen for miles around after the blaze broke out near Watergate forest park, Lobley Hill at about 12:30pm on Monday 31 July.

Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at Gateshead Central Nursery, where they were able to extinguish the flames.

No one was injured in the fire, which police say they are treating as a suspected arson.

A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said on Monday: "We can confirm we are currently in attendance at a fire in a derelict building in the Lobley Hill area of Gateshead.

"Our fire control received a call at 12:05pm and crews from across the service were on the scene in a matter of minutes.

"We currently have five appliance and 20 firefighters on scene to extinguish the fire.

"We ask that people avoid the area if possible and residents keep their windows and doors closed due to the smoke.

"This is an ongoing incident. We will provide updates when we can."

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 12:30pm on Monday (July 31), we were made aware by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service of a fire at a derelict building on Whickham Highway, in Whickham.

“Emergency services attended the scene and the fire was extinguished.

“No-one is believed to have been injured in the incident.

“Officers are treating the fire as suspected arson and enquiries are ongoing.

“Anyone with information should use the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or call 101 quoting NP-20230731-0392.”

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