A blaze which closed Newcastle’s Central Motorway has now been extinguished

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A fire that closed one of the busiest roads in Newcastle city centre has been put out by firefighters.

Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) were called to a fire at a disused building, in Carliol Square, at around 6.45pm on Wednesday, June 28.

TWFRS dispatched crews and the first appliance was on the scene within five minutes to begin tackling the fire.

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It took around 50 firefighters, who used eight fire appliances and two aerial ladder platform vehicles to bring the blaze under control.

The incident saw Northumbria Police close the Central Motorway in both directions after the Tyne Bridge as officers assisted TWFRS with their operation.

Newcastle’s Central Motorway was closed as firefighters tackled the blaze. Photo: Adam Bartch.Newcastle’s Central Motorway was closed as firefighters tackled the blaze. Photo: Adam Bartch.
Newcastle’s Central Motorway was closed as firefighters tackled the blaze. Photo: Adam Bartch.

Fire crews worked through the night and on Thursday morning (June 29), they have confirmed that it has now been extinguished, with two appliances remaining ont he scene to ensure any embers don’t reignite.

Peter Heath, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer who will become Chief Fire Officer later this year, was at the scene and has praised firefighters for their efforts in bring the blaze under control.

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He said: “This was a large fire right in the city centre that has caused significant disruption to the road network, businesses and residents in the immediate vicinity.

Fire crews were called to the disused building, on Carliol Square, at around 6.45pm on Wednesday, June 28. Photo: Adam Bartch.Fire crews were called to the disused building, on Carliol Square, at around 6.45pm on Wednesday, June 28. Photo: Adam Bartch.
Fire crews were called to the disused building, on Carliol Square, at around 6.45pm on Wednesday, June 28. Photo: Adam Bartch.

“Thanks to the hard work of our firefighters and Fire Control staff, and with the support of partners across the region, we have arrived on the scene quickly and have been able to get the fire under control and put an operation in place.

“This is a disused building and we have not received any reports of anyone being unaccounted for. However, now the fire is extinguished we will be moving into an investigative phase with Northumbria Police.

“Enquiries will begin to establish the circumstances around the fire and, although we have been able to enter sections of the building, that investigation will also be able to confirm that nobody has been inside.

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Firefighters worked through the night to bring the fire under control. Photo: TWFRS.Firefighters worked through the night to bring the fire under control. Photo: TWFRS.
Firefighters worked through the night to bring the fire under control. Photo: TWFRS.

“We know this fire has had a significant impact on the local road network which impacted commuters last night and during this morning’s rush hour. We want to thank you for your patience and your support.

“Northumbria Police manage the road network but do not take the decision to close roads lightly and we want to thank them, our other multi-agency partners and also the Salvation Army who attended and supported our operation.”

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The soundbound carriageway of the Central Motorway has reopened, however, it remains closed northbound as Northumbria Police work alongside TWFRS to establish the cause of the fire.

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Superintendent Aelf Sampson, of Northumbria Police, commented: “This was clearly a significant incident and I would like to thank our officers and staff, our colleagues at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and all other multi-agency partners involved in helping to get the fire under control.

Fire crews used an aerial platform as part of their efforts to extinguish the blaze. Photo: TWFRS.Fire crews used an aerial platform as part of their efforts to extinguish the blaze. Photo: TWFRS.
Fire crews used an aerial platform as part of their efforts to extinguish the blaze. Photo: TWFRS.

“Given the scale of the blaze in the city centre, and the effect that the smoke had on road visibility, we took the decision to close the Central Motorway in both directions to ensure everyone’s safety.

“The southbound carriageway has since been reopened, but the northbound carriageway remains closed with a diversion in place. I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing patience and cooperation.

“We will now be working with the fire service to establish the cause of the fire.”

Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact Northumbria Police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website, quoting reference number NP-20230628-1077.

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