Residents near Alex Smiles blaze site warned to limit time outside

Firefighters were still working to dampen the blaze at Alex Smiles on Friday.
Firefighters were still working to dampen the blaze at Alex Smiles on Friday.

Residents in areas affected by a huge blaze in Sunderland are being warned to limit the time they spend outside and avoid the smoke.

The fire which took place at the former Alex Smiles recycling depot in Deptford on Monday night, saw around 50 firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service tackle the flames.

The aftermath of the fire at the Alex Smiles site in Sunderland.

The aftermath of the fire at the Alex Smiles site in Sunderland.

Damping down was still going on yesterday and work continues over the weekend to remove debris not affected by the fire from the site.

The warning to people living and working near the site comes from Public Health England who say that where this is not possible people should reduce physical exertion in areas affected - especially if they experience symptoms such as cough or sore throat.

The majority of people are unlikely to experience any health effects following exposure to smoke from a fire, however because any smoke is an irritant, it can make people’s eyes and throat sore.

Firefighters could be at site of Alex Smiles fire 'for weeks'

Smoke is more likely to affect people who have existing breathing problems, lung or heart conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic pulmonary disease or heart disease.

It can also affect the very young and the elderly. People with these conditions should avoid strenuous physical activity in areas affected by smoke.

People with asthma who may be in the vicinity of the fire should carry their inhaler.

If symptoms persist seek medical advice by calling NHS 111 or by contacting your General Practitioner (GP).

If a medical consultant is already treating an existing health condition, discuss your concerns and symptoms with them. In the case of an emergency call 999.

As debris not affected by the fire is removed from the site there may be an increased odour, but it is not a risk to health.