No casualties in large fire in South Shields shop that sent smoke billowing 80ft high

Fire chief says no-one has been hurt after a large fire engulfed a South Shields shop sending smoke pluming 80ft high

Sunday, 29th December 2019, 8:46 am

Fire chiefs say they were called to a commercial property and witnesses at the scene say it is believed to be a shop called Techniserve, which sells computer equipment, CCTV systems and security cameras.

The road is expected to remain closed for several hours.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fire brigade officers survey the damaged shop

Lynsey McVay, area manager for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said no-one was hurt in the blaze and the firefighters ‘worked fantastically well’ and contained the fire and prevented it from spreading to neighbouring businesses.

She added: “Our crew were called just after 10am this morning to a fire in a commercial property, a small business.

“There are flats above the property so we had to make sure they were evacuated.

“Our crews have worked fantastically well and contained the fire within the premises in which it started.

Smoke billowing from the shop in Dean Road, South Shields.

“They have done a great job.

“The fire hasn’t spread to the properties on either side, however the fire has spread beyond the ground floor.

“There are no casualties reported and all firefighters are safe as well.”

At the height of the blaze a plume of smoke was billowing over the property and witnesses said they saw black smoke before some of the properties were evacuated.

Firefighters at the scene.

Staff from nearby businesses helped with the evacuation and also directed traffic amid fears the thick smoke could lead to a pedestian being knocked over.

Joe Roberts, who owns That Nail Guy which is in a shop oppose the blaze, said: “The smoke built up and then went clear again. I thought it was fog, it cleared off then it was thick again. It started to turn black and that’s when I knew it was a fire. I was working and the police came and evacuated us and said it was a fire. That all happened at around 10.30am.”

Gayle Davies, who owns Hair Evolution which is situated outside of the cordoned off area in Dean Road, said: “It was so black we started diverting the traffic because we thought if the cars went down there someone would get knocked over.”

Fire officers are asking people to stay clear of the area as it is not expected to be cleared until early evening.