Firefighters praised for quick response to Byker car garage fire

Fire crews have been praised for preventing a fire at a car garage from spreading – after they arrived on scene in just five minutes.

At 4.10pm on Wednesday, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received the first call about a suspected fire at a commercial car garage in Byker.

Multiple calls from the public then followed with reports that a plume of dark smoke could be seen from a number of miles away.

Six appliances from Byker, Tynemouth, Newcastle, Wallsend, Gateshead, Gosforth and West Denton were immediately deployed to the garage on St Lawrence Road with the first crews on scene just five minutes after the initial call.

They were quickly able to surround the fire and bring it under control, preventing it from spreading from the garage repair shop and reaching the sales floor. This prevented around 35 cars from catching fire.

Most importantly, TWFRS were quickly able to establish that nobody was inside the premises and as a result nobody was reported to have suffered injury.

Group Manager Steve Thomas, who helped lead the response to the fire, has praised the crews who were on scene so quickly and isolated the incident.

He said: “This was a fantastic response that started in our Control Room and ended with our crews safely extinguishing what was a significant fire.

“It was a real example of working together to keep our communities safe and by isolating the fire we were able to prevent thousands of pounds of further damage.

“We also worked closely with our colleagues at Northumbria Police, the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and the gas and electric board as part of a multi-agency response.

“We also want to thank residents in the area who followed our advice and ensured we could carry out our emergency response safely.

“This will be a devastating incident for the business concerned but we hope our quick response reassures our community that we will be there if you need us.”

Crews from TWFRS remained on the scene until 7.55pm to make sure the site was safe but it has been left in the hands of the business owners.

The fire is believed to be a result of fuel catching fire in the garage workshop but it is not being treated as malicious at this time.