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Calls for action over flytipping after boat is dumped and set alight in Sunderland quarry

The blaze created a large amount of black smoke, sent to the Echo by a reader.
The blaze created a large amount of black smoke, sent to the Echo by a reader.

A blaze started after a boat was ditched in Ford Quarry has prompted calls from residents and councillors for action over vandals.

Firefighters from Sunderland Central Fire Station were sent to the land off St Luke's Road at around 9.30pm yesterday to put out the fire.

The crew used a jet to put out the blaze, which had sent a plume of black smoke into the air which could be seen from some distance away.

Liberal Democrat councillors in the city have said they join residents in a demand that those responsible are found and deal with, with the fire the latest incident in a spate of fires set off in and around the quarry in recent months.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Things are getting worse round here, something needs to be done before someone is hurt."

Councillor, Martin Haswell, who represents the area on Sunderland City Council, was on St Luke's Road speaking to residents while fire crews dealt with the blaze.

He said: “Yet again Ford Quarry has been targeted by flytippers, arsonists and vandals, causing major disruption for local people and putting homes at risk.

"This is the latest in a string of fires in recent months with bins and rubbish being set alight previously and now a fishing boat.

"There is a real risk that someone will get hurt, or homes damaged as a result of this reckless behaviour and I am pressing the council and police to do more to prevent flytippers accessing the quarry.

“Residents in the area have had enough of living with the fear of more fires and anti-social behaviour, people have a right to live in peace without disruption like this.

"I completely agree with local residents who have said enough is enough.

"I would also like to thank and praise the residents who called the emergency services and encouraged kids in the area to stay away from the fire and allow the fire crew to do their job.

"My thanks also go out to the firemen who dealt with the fire quickly and reassured local residents."

Reports of flytipping can be send to Sunderland City Council via its website.