Sunderland’s National Glass Centre saved from blaze

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WEARSIDE’S National Glass Centre had a lucky escape when a fire broke out in the early hours of the morning.

Fire crews from Fulwell station were called to the building when a smoke alarm, linked to a call centre, was activated at 1.30am on Wednesday.

Crew manager Tony Chapman, said when they arrived on the scene it wasn’t obvious where in the huge building the smoke was coming from.

He said: “We used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire really quickly and were able to isolate it.”

The fire officer said the problem was caused by an electrical fault behind a panel in one of the ladies’ toilet blocks and although the fire was small there was a lot of smoke.

Crew manager Chapman, said: “If we hadn’t found it so quickly it could have been a very different outcome, the building could have gone up in flames.”

He said during the incident the crews worked closely with Glass Centre staff alerted to the scene and praised the professionalism of everyone involved.

Iain Garfield, head of estates at the University of Sunderland, said: “The National Glass Centre experienced a short circuit in a small electrical distribution board which activated the fire alarm. A university on-call electrician attended the incident and isolated the electrical distribution board.”