WATCH: Huge fire close to Stadium of Light sends smoke across Sunderland city centre

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A large fire sparked at a scrap yard just 400 yards from the Stadium of Light sent a large plume of smoke across Sunderland city centre.

The blaze began just after noon at the Ward Bros steel scrap yard, on the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate.

Fire crews at the scene put out the blaze, the cause of which is still being investigated.

Nobody was hurt with workers at the yard leaving the premises before fire crews arrived.

Group Manager Mark Gerrard said: “We are just trying to find out where the hot spots are.

“Because of the likelihood of structural collapse it means it is too dangerous to send officers in at the minute.”

One witness, Keith Watt, 51, from Penshaw, who could see the fire from the Liebherr yard, where he works in the paint shop, said: “It looks like it’s coming from the stadium, but it’s not, it’s from the Sheepfolds.

“The smoke is blowing across the city centre.

“We can hear gas canisters going off and sirens.

“You can just see the smoke engulfing it, big black smoke.”

A photo of the fire taken from outside Sunderland Magistrates' Court by Echo reporter Petra Silfverskiold.

A photo of the fire taken from outside Sunderland Magistrates' Court by Echo reporter Petra Silfverskiold.