Firefighters praised for their response after huge fire at Grade II listed building in Newcastle

Firefighters have been praised after battling a blaze at a Grade II listed building as dramatic drone footage is released showing the scale of the devastating damage.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) confirmed on Thursday (June 8) that their Fire Control received a call about a fire at Henderson Old Hall on Etherstone Avenue in Newcastle at 2.15pm.

A fire had started in the loft of the Grade II listed former student accommodation with the first fire appliance was scene in just 55 seconds of the emergency call to begin to tackle the fire.

At its height, 54 firefighters, two drone pilots, two fire officers, 10 appliances and two specialist Aerial Ladder Platforms (ALPs) were on scene to bring the blaze under control.

Emergency services have said that they have not received reports that anyone is unaccounted for, with the building having been vacant for some time.

Firefighters remained at the scene throughout the evening to dampen down the flames and TWFRS still have two appliances in attendance to ensure the fire doesn’t reignite.

Today (Friday) the Service has released dramatic drone footage showing the scale of the damage to the building – as the officer in charge of the response praised the efforts of those involved in bringing the fire under control.

Area Manager Dave Leach, of TWFRS said: “This is the largest fire we have seen in some time and it has been a very protracted response for everyone involved.

“It was a fast acting fire that has been challenging to keep under control but we are confident that it has now been extinguished thanks to the hard work of our firefighters.

“They have worked through the night to dampen down embers to prevent them from reigniting and that is challenging in itself given the sheer size of the building.

“The drone footage we are releasing shows the scale of the damage this fire has caused, and the nature of what we have been faced with since that first emergency call.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our Fire Control staff, the firefighters who responded and every member of support staff who assisted our response.

“We are really proud of how hard they worked and we hope that the public are reassured that our staff will be there through thick and thin to keep communities safe.

“I also want to thank our partner agencies for the support they have shown and the public in the area who were disrupted by the incident and have been patient with us during our response.”

Emergency services will remain in the area today to carry out further enquiries into the circumstances around the fire with a joint investigation underway between TWFRS and Northumbria Police.

On Thursday police confirmed that a male had been arrested on suspicion of arson in relation to the fire and he has since been released on police bail.

Anyone with information about the circumstances around the fire are asked to contact police via 101 or the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northumbria Police website, quoting log NP-20230608-0663.