Drone footage reveals scale of massive West Boldon garage fire
More than 40 firefighters took six hours to tackle the fire, which destroyed Wrightway Car Parts, and caused major damage to neighbouring houses.
The footage, released by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, shows how fierce the fire was.
The blaze broke out at 8.20pm at the business in Rectory Terrace.
Staff at a nearby beauty salon, Blush & Blow, rang 999 after spotting smoke coming from the premises, then called again minutes later as gas cylinders stored in the property began exploding.
Police cordoned off the main A184 through the village, from the BMW garage to the junction of the Red Lion pub, to keep passers-by and traffic safe.
Neighbouring properties, including three houses and the Red Lion, were evacuated.
George Wright, 62, who owns the business, tried to fight the fire himself and was lucky to escape with his life.
Group Manager, Steve Anderson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Head of Resilience said: "This was a particularly challenging fire.
"The garage housed gas cylinders which were exploding as we were tackling the fire and made entry into the property impossible.
"This meant that we were forced to tackle the fire externally. During the course of the fire we had 42 firefighters in attendance from South Shields, Washington, Hebburn, Sunderland Central, Byker, Farringdon and Tynemouth Community Fire Stations.
"We also had our incident command unit and support from West Denton and Gosforth, plus the aerial Ladder platform from Gateshead - and our drone.
"I’d like to commend the firefighting skills and professionalism of all of our crews, who ensured that we kept the fire spreading to a minimum and that no-one was injured."