Disused building fire that closed one of Newcastle’s busiest roads is extinguished

A fire at a disused building that closed one of the busiest roads in Newcastle has now been extinguished by firefighters.

At 6.44pm on Wednesday Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a report of a fire at a large, disused building in Carliol Square in the city centre.

TWFRS Fire Control staff quickly dispatched crews and the first fire appliance was on scene of the incident in just five minutes to begin tackling the fire.

In total eight fire appliances and two Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) vehicles were deployed, around 50 firefighters working to extinguish the flames.

Northumbria Police also attended the area to support the operation and the Central Motorway was closed in both directions after the Tyne Bridge to assist the operation.

Firefighters worked to tackle the fire overnight and it has now been extinguished, with one appliance remaining on scene this morning to ensure any embers don’t reignite.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath, who will become Chief Fire Officer later this year, was on scene of the fire and has praised the response of staff, partners and the public.

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.

“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.

“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.”

Superintendent Aelf Sampson, of Northumbria Police, said: “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.

“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.”

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) currently have one appliance on scene and a cordon remains in place while the investigative phase of the operation begins.

Anyone with information about the fire is encouraged to contact Northumbria Police on the ‘Tell us Something’ pages of their website, quoting reference number NP-20230628-1077.