Engineers count cost of Sunderland car park blaze

Council workmen closing off part of the Park Lane car park as a precautionary measure after the recent fire.
Council workmen closing off part of the Park Lane car park as a precautionary measure after the recent fire.
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ENGINEERS are continuing to assess the damage caused by a fire at a multi-storey car park.

Up to 20 firefighters attended the blaze at the civic centre in Burdon Road, Sunderland, on Monday night.

It is believed the blaze started in a rubbish compound of the building, igniting 40 plastic bins.

As crews from Sunderland central, Farringdon and Fulwell stations brought the fire under control, confining it to the basement, Metro train drivers were alerted to the possibility of smoke spreading to nearby lines.

This week, engineers were at the four-storey building assessing the damage, with council staff carrying out a clean-up operation.

It is understood to include fire and heat damage to the roof of the basement, as well as pipework.

Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council, said: “The council is assessing the damage caused by this fire and is working closely with the emergency services as we all look at the circumstances around this incident. The car park reopened as normal on Tuesday morning.”

A spokeswoman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fire was in a refuse bin compound, located on the basement level of a multi-storey car park, where 40 large plastic refuse bins were severely damaged by fire.

“A local authority structural engineer was requested to attend due to the heat damage to the concrete roof of the basement level and to assess a pipe which had become detached from its anchoring.

“Metro trains were also cautioned due to the amount of smoke issuing from the fire.”

Police were called to the scene, although it is understood there are no suspicious circumstances.