Fire crews prepared for fourth day of tackling Sunderland blaze

Firefighters preparing for fourth day of battling Deptford blaze.
Firefighters preparing for fourth day of battling Deptford blaze.
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Firefighters will be going into their fourth day of battling an inferno at a Sunderland plant.

Fire broke out at the Alex Smiles recycling plant in Deptford on Monday teatime and since then crews have worked round the clock to tackle it.

Drone footage of the Alex Smiles blaze.

Drone footage of the Alex Smiles blaze.

At the height of the blaze smoke could be seen from miles away and up to 50 firefighters were on site at the disused plant.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service say they currently have 19 firefighters on the site, an officer, three engines, one aerial ladder platform and a high volume pump.

A spokesman for the service said they will certainly be there again throughout tonight and tomorrow is likely as well.

He said: "The fire still isn't out. There are two warehouse type buildings and they were absolutely full to the roof with material. It was both domestic and industrial recycleable material."

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Monday evening.

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Monday evening.

The spokesman said it is not just the firefighters who are working on site they are being joined by a lot of support staff including people from the Environment Agency and people providing food and drinks to the crews.

Since Monday The Salvation Army's North-East England emergency mobile response team has been supporting the fire service on the scene.

Salvation Army volunteers from across Sunderland served up drinks and food to firefighters working at the site.

The volunteers included ministers from the Sunderland Citadel, Monkwearmouth and Millfield Salvation Army churches as well as South Shields Salvation Army, and managers from Swan Lodge Lifehouse and the Southwick Community Project. All shifts by the volunteers were provided in addition to their fulltime work and ministry in the city.

The day after the Deptford fire smoke is still billowing.

The day after the Deptford fire smoke is still billowing.

Every day residents and staff from Swan Lodge Lifehouse prepared up to 500 sandwiches to keep supplies at The Salvation Army refreshment trailer topped up.

Major Stephen Slade is the minister at South Shields Salvation Army and is tasked locally with bringing together volunteers to provide refreshments and support on major incidents.

He said: "It's a privilege for us to be able to assist our emergency services as they support our community, with food and refreshments, as well as offering a safe space for them to have a

break and find a listening ear during a callout. Not only have our volunteers stepped up to support them in addition to their own fulltime ministry and work but our Lifehouse residents have

also been tireless in preparing sandwiches and cakes to ensure our supplies are topped up - it's been a real team effort."