A LARGE timber fire has caused extensive damages to a warehouse on a Newton Aycliffe industrial estate.

Residents were urged to keep all doors and windows shut at one point as a huge plume of smoke hung over Appletree Joinery in Linde Way, on the Aycliffe Business Park, on Sunday.

Rob Cherrie, group manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called to a fire in the Linde Way area of Newton Aycliffe at 8.40am.

"A worker noticed a fire and when we arrived the fire was well established in one of the areas. We knocked it back, but there is another huge warehouse right next to it, full of wood and stuff and the fire got into there.

“We got from two fire engines to six appliances very quickly, as well as an aerial ladder platform. At the height there were ten appliances on the scene.

"We saved all the machinery in the workshop, which is great.”

Firefighters could not enter the warehouse as the heat was too intense and it was at risk of collapsing.

Mr Cherrie added: "We managed to tackle the fire, but there is still a huge amount that is smouldering away. We will have appliances there for the night."

A joint investigation between the fire brigade and Durham Police will be carried out on Monday to establish the cause of the fire.