PEOPLE living and working near the scene of a major scrap yard fire in Sunderland earlier this week are being advised to take care and avoid the smoke as firefighters remain at the scene

Public Health England issued the caution following the fire at the former Alex Smiles waste management plant in Deptford Terrace on Monday.

Symptoms of exposure to the smoke may include coughing and wheezing, sore throat, feeling short of breath, runny nose or eyes or chest pain.

In general, exposure to smoke is more likely to affect people who have existing breathing problems, lung or heart conditions and the very young and very old, smokers and people with flu or flu-like illnesses may also be at greater risk.

Residents in areas affected by the smoke are advised to stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed and follow @PHE_NorthEast for the latest health advice and information.

Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.

Up to 50 firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were involved at the height of the blaze.

The service yesterday still had 19 firefighters and an officer on the scene, alongside three fire engines, an aerial ladder platform and the brigade’s high volume pump.