FIREFIGHTERS are continuing to dampen down a blaze at a tyre compound, which could be seen up to 20 miles away.
Thick black smoke billowed hundreds of feet into the air from the compound, used for storing old tyres for recycling, at Envirotyre’s Durham plant on the Littleburn Industrial Estate at Langley Moor yesterday.
But Group Manager Tony Grufferty, of Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Brigade, said the direction of the wind keeping the smoke away from houses in Langley Moor meant that no evacuations were necessary.
It also kept the smoke away from the East Coast railway which runs yards from the plant.
The only “casualties” were nearby golfers, who had to abandon their games.
The smoke billowed over part of the course, and also the car park.
Golfer Mike Parker, from East Denton, Newcastle, said: “I had played about five holes when the siren went to call us off.
“Part of the course was affected by the smell from the smoke, but the far side was unaffected.”
Mr Grufferty said: “This blaze could take a couple of days to dampen down.
“We are putting water onto it to convert the smoke into steam.
“Fortunately due to the direction of the wind no homes have needed to be evacuated.
“The blaze is certainly spectacular, like the Durham version of the Icelandic volcano!
“We have no idea how it started yet, but the corrugated compound is used to store tyres for recycling, hence the thick black smoke.”
Up to 40 firefighters were dealing with the blaze.
Onlooker Gordon Clecknen, from Langley Moor, said “You could see it in the sky. I have never seen a blaze as spectacular as this.”