FIREFIGHTERS were called to a blaze at a Tyneside recycling plant for the second time in five weeks yesterday.
The fire broke out yesterday afternoon in North Shields at the North Tyneside Council waste transfer station.
A road next to the site was temporarily closed as more than 30 officers tackled the fire. Smoke drifted from the roof of a building towards the Tyne Tunnel and police said the A187 was closed between Howdon Road and Wallsend Road.
Fire crews and police were called to the Tyne Tunnel trading estate just after 2pm. People arriving to drop rubbish off were turned away while a firefighter on an aerial ladder platform tried to get the blaze under control.
A total of eight fire engines were at the scene and it is believed a large quantity of waste was stored in the building that was alight.
The crews were initially hampered in their efforts by problems with low water pressure and representatives from Northumbrian Water were called to the scene to assist.
Owners of nearby business premises were told there was no risk to the properties.
Motorists could see the smoke from all directions but visibility was not badly affected.
Chris Rooney from South Shields saw the smoke as he was driving home.
The 40-year-old care worker said: “We were driving along the A19 and the fire was already blowing smoke onto the road. By the time we got to the roundabout by the plant all the fire crews were already set up.”
In March a fire at the centre, which is operated by SITA UK, blazed for six hours. Lanes of the dual carriageway running past the centre were closed on that occasion and residents warned to keep their doors and windows closed.
A spokesperson for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said a total of 52 firefighters had been involved in tackling the blaze after they received a report at 2.11pm.
Crews from Wallsend, Byker, Gosforth, Low Fell, Hebburn, West Denton, Rye Hill and North Shields community fire stations, all attended the scene.
On site offices and inside the main building, which is used to process domestic refuse and recycling materials, suffered extensive heat and smoke damage.