EMERGENCY services are currently tackling a large fire at a building in Darlington. 

Images and video footage shared on social media shows thick black plumes of smoke rising above the town centre, which can be seen for miles around. 

Several small explosions can also be heard, witnesses have said. 

Durham police confirmed it is expected to be at the scene throughout the night and urged all residents in the town to keep their windows shut and avoid the area. However, there is no risk to public health. 

Video footage shared with The Northern Echo shows a building in the Albert Hill area of the town engulfed in flames. 

The Ward Bros Steel Ltd building, on Cleveland St, is believed to be affected by the blaze.


Read more: Huge fire engulfs Darlington building - and is expected to burn throughout night

Andrei, a local delivery driver, said he arrived at the scene before firefighters managed to get there. 

He said: I was on my way to deliver an order and [there] was not any fire engine there so [I] pick up the phone to call but I heard sirens and then saw the firefighters.

"Was a thick black smoke and you could here many small explosions."

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. 

A statement from Durham police read: "Officers and Fire brigade are currently dealing with a large fire in the Albert Hill area of Darlington which will likely run through the night.

"Residents are advised to keep windows closed if possible due to the amount of smoke from the fire.

"At this time there is nothing to suggest there is anything toxic which would cause any public health issues.

"Please avoid the area unless necessary."

The Northern Echo: Emergency services rushed to the scene of the fire, on Cleveland Way. Picture: GARY RICHARDSONEmergency services rushed to the scene of the fire, on Cleveland Way. Picture: GARY RICHARDSON