A FIREFIGHTER suffered burns and a suspected concussion in a minor explosion at a transport haulage company.

The crew member was injured while responding to the serious blaze at the Ramshaw Removals premises on Swan Street, in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland, which raged for eight hours.

He was taken to hospital with minor burns and a suspected concussion but has since been discharged and is recovering at home.

Reports of the fire were received at about 1pm on Thursday.

The Northern Echo:

BLAZE: The aftermath of the fire at the transport haulage company in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland Picture: COUNTY DURHAM AND DARLINGTON FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Ten appliances including those from Bishop Auckland, Crook and Spennymoor fought the flames which engulfed a number of shipping containers and LGVs.

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was brought under control at about 9pm.

Crews remained at the scene until around 2am on Friday.

A joint investigation between the fire service and Durham Police has been launched to establish the cause of the blaze.

Officers began their inquiries on Friday morning.

Area manager Steve Wharton has commended the firefighters and support received by a number or agencies.

The Northern Echo:

BUSINESS: Damaged vehicles at the scene in Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland Picture: COUNTY DURHAM AND DARLINGTON FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

He said: “Crews were faced with challenging conditions and after many hours of firefighting were able to bring the blaze under control and crucially prevent the fire from spreading to the warehouse.

“We received excellent support from all agencies involved including the police, the local authority, Northumbrian Water, The Red Cross and the Environment Agency who worked together in difficult circumstances to bring this fire under control and minimise the impact on the local community.”

There will be activity at the site of the incident throughout Friday while crews work to make the area safe and the fire investigation work begins.