FIRE ripped through a garage on a County Durham industrial estate yesterday afternoon.

The blaze, at Lawson's Commercials, on the Mainsforth Industrial Estate, Ferryhill Station, took hold at about 2.40pm.

About half of the roof collapsed and black, billowing smoke could be seen for miles around.

A spokesman for Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Brigade said: "Erring on the side of caution, we withdrew the crews and tackled the blaze from the outside.

"It contained several vehicles and the danger was that there may have been gas cylinders inside, which could have been a hazard."

Four firefighting jets were used to tackle the blaze and crews wore breathing apparatus. The fire was brought under control in about two-and-a-half hours, although two appliances remained at the scene for some time