A fire has broken out at the Recycling Centre on Whessoe Road in Darlington sending plumes of thick smoke over large parts of Darlington and even forcing the closure of a local school.

The fire broke out this morning at around 05:11am this morning this is when County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service received the call to respond. Local residents living within the vicinity of the incident have been advised to keep doors and windows closed as a precaution due to thick smoke covering a vast area north of Darlington Town Centre.

Where is the incident?

Harrowgate Hill Primary School has been forced to close due to smoke causing air quality issues. The issued the below statement on their Facebook page.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue (CDDFRS) Statement:

A County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue (CDDFRS) spokesperson said: “We were called at around 5.11am today (May 22) to a fire at the recycling centre on Whessoe Road in Darlington.

“Three fire engines from Darlington and Newton Aycliffe Fire Stations are in attendance. The water bowser from Spennymoor Fire Station and the aerial ladder platform from Darlington have also been called to the scene.

“The incident is ongoing and is likely to go on for some time.

“We ask that businesses and properties in the area keep their doors and windows closed due to the level of smoke and urge them to stay away from the area. “

DBC Council Statement:

A Darlington Council spokesperson said: “The fire service is attending and leading the response to the incident and we will support as required.

“Environmental Health officers are liaising with the Environment Agency as is normal in these situations. The tip will remain closed until we are advised it can re-open.”

It is unclear at this time how long the fire will take to fully extinguish however firefighters will remain on scene until the site can be made safe and then it can handed back over to the authorities.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service have shared the following on X

More will be posted as it becomes available.