Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UP IN SMOKE; Arson Probe as Fire Burns for 30 Hours Leaving Tees Community under Cloud POLICE PROBE ARSON

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UP IN SMOKE; Arson Probe as Fire Burns for 30 Hours Leaving Tees Community under Cloud POLICE PROBE ARSON

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS HOLE;KRYSTA EAVES

A BLAZING stack of wood left an estate clouded in thick smoke - after yet another arson attack at a Teesside recycling site.

Smoke billowed from a fire at the Jigsaw Wood Recycling site, off Haverton Hill Road, near Port Clarence, throughout yesterday.

Two to three thousand tons of wood were destroyed by the flames which have been burning for 30 hours. Fire crews were continuing to tackle the blaze today.

Parts of Port Clarence, near Billingham, yesterday disappeared behind the cloud of thick smog and police officers were drafted in to keep traffic under control as visibility levels plummeted.

Windows were closed and doors shut as some parts of the estate disappeared behind the mist and passers-by were forced to shield their faces. Police said today that the fire is being treated as arson. They say the smoke is non-toxic but are advising Port Clarence residents to keep their windows and doors shut. Firefighters from across Teesside were called to the recycling site. just before 6am yesterday and two engines remained at the site overnight, as a defensive measure, dampening down the wood which was still alight. A spokesperson for Cleveland Fire Brigade said today: "This fire has taken a considerable amount of time to deal with. "It's proved difficult to access the site but we have used protective stand-by techniques to contain the fire and will continue to do so today." Yesterday wasn't the first time the site has been targeted by arsonists - after similar blazes broke out in September and December last year. Karl Shepherd, manager of Jigsaw, said today: "It makes us really angry and this is not the first time. It affects us and the people in the estate. "Business is not good to start with and this makes it worse. We have lost that wood, we couldn't work yesterday, and we can't work today but we still have wages to pay. …

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