Spate of 999 calls after South Shields building fire

The fire in the derelict building. Photograph by Kate Foster.
The fire in the derelict building. Photograph by Kate Foster.

A blaze in a derelict South Tyneside building prompted a spate of 999 calls from the public.

Sixteen different calls were registered with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service by people who spotted smoke coming from the property on Hill Street.

The first came in at 6.47pm and fire crews were soon on the scene.

A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesman told the Gazette: "We believe it was an old office block on Hill Street."

She described it as a "derelict property on fire."

"Four fire engines and one of our aerial ladder platforms were sent and a duty officer."

She said the crews came from South Shields, Wallsend, Tynemouth and the aerial platform was from the Marley Park station.

Crews used four jets to tackle the blaze and the spokesman said: "There were sixteen 999 calls in total. People across the water could see the smoke and it has generated a lot of calls."

One eye-witness who passed the scene, told the Gazette: "The smoke was seen for miles, all the way to Westoe and town hall."

Further details were expected to be given by the fire service later.