Apr 19 2012 By Lisa Hutchinson
TWENTY-TWO firefighters tackled a blaze in Newcastle’s West End today.
The flames engulfed the former M A Bros Asian food store on Elswick Road.
The fire broke out at around 3am and firefighters had to evacuate nearby residents.
Crews from Colby Court fire station, which is based across the road from the incident, attended the scene, along with firefighters from West Denton and Low Fell in Gateshead.
Flames could be seen shooting from the building and the area was filled with thick black smoke.
Crew manager Jay Jacobson, based at West Denton Station, said: “When we arrived we could see the flames coming through the roof and the tiles. The flames were also coming out of the windows. The building was well alight.
“Crews from West Denton, Colby Court, which is just across the road from the fire, attended, as well as an aerial platform ladder from Low fell.
“We were told from the person we believed to be the key holder that modernisation on the building was taking place and workmen had been in the building.
“Some people had to be evacuated nearby.”
Fire crews took more than three hours to extinguish the flames and they remained on site to dampen the building down.
The building was disused but was formerly occupied by M A Bros before the business moved along the road to bigger premises.
A structural engineer is being called out today to see if the building is safe.
Fire investigation officers will be attending to find the cause of the blaze.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Today a small part of Elswick Road and Beech Grove Road remains closed.”