Durham fire: All roads reopened as Firefighters bring blaze at Milburngate development under control

All roads have reopened after a major blaze at the Milburngate development in Durham city centre.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:57 am

The County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue service said firefighters from Durham, Spennymoor, High Handenhold and Newton Aycliffe were mobilised to the the Milburngate development in Durham City just after 2pm on Wednesday, September 15.

The service said that, on arrival at the scene, crews discovered there was a fire in a cavity wall running along the outside of the development.

Area manager Keith Wanley said eight crews had been “working hard to bring this to a safe resolution.” Two people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

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On Thursday afternoon, Durham Constabulary said: “All roads have now reopened following the fire at the Milburngate development, in Durham City, yesterday.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support and cooperation while emergency services worked at the scene.”

Andy Mills, 49, a curtain wall installer from Annitsford, had been working on the site when they noticed smoke.

He said: “All of a suden it just went ‘whoosh’ with massive black clouds of smoke. We were on the third floor, the alarm had been sounded by then so we ran out to get to the muster point.

Fire crews continue work on the scene in Durham.

“It happened so quickly, it was unreal. I’ve never seen anything like it how fast it went up, really fast. We couldn’t breathe when running down the stairs and had to cover our faces. Luckily enough everyone I know got out safely.

“With it hapening so quickly you don’t realise. We just ran to get out. It was very, very scary.”

Labourer Gary Cook, 43, from Newcastle, added: “First there was a little bit of smoke and then it turned into a lot of smoke. Everyone was coughing.”

Two fire crews remained at the site overnight and into Thursday morning to ensure the scene remains safe.

Labourer Gary Cook.

Thanks to Echo reader Ian Maggiore for supplying some of the pictures on this story.

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Firefighters from Durham, Spennymoor, High Handenhold and Newton Aycliffe were mobilised to the scene just after 2pm.
Worker Andy Mills described the fire as "very very scary".
Durham Cathedral. Picture: Ian Maggiore.
The scene of the fire in Durham city centre. Pictures: Ian Maggiore
Smoke from the fire billowing across Durham. Picture: Ian Maggiore.
Emergency services pictured in Durham.
Fire crews continue work on the scene in Durham.
Firefighters from Durham, Spennymoor, High Handenhold and Newton Aycliffe were mobilised to the scene just after 2pm.
Worker Andy Mills described the fire as "very very scary".