School shuts amid call to close windows due to fire

Smoke coming from the recycling centre in Darlington
The incident was "likely to go on for some time", the fire service said [BBC]

A primary school has closed and people have been warned to keep windows and doors shut, after a fire at a household waste recycling centre.

Firefighters were called to the facility, in Darlington's Whessoe Road, at about 05:10 BST on Wednesday.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said the incident was "likely to go on for some time".

“We ask that businesses and properties in the area keep their doors and windows closed due to the level of smoke, and urge them to stay away from the area," a spokesperson said.

Harrowgate Hill Primary School, in Thompson Street West, has announced it will close for the rest of the day because of the smoke.

In a statement on social media, the school wrote: "Despite following public health advice and closing windows, the air quality and smell in the building is so bad that it is beginning to affect both children and staff, and, for a number, affecting their breathing.

Smoke billows from the facility on Wednesday
The fire began early on Wednesday morning [BBC]

"The Fire Chief has explained this will be the situation all day.

"We have spoken to Public Health and the Local Authority to let them know that we will be regrettably closing for the remainder of the day."

The school apologised for the inconvenience and requested that parents collect children "as soon as possible".

Three fire engines, a water bowser and an aerial ladder platform were called to the scene to attend the fire.

Darlington Borough Council said it hoped the recycling centre would reopen later on Wednesday.

Follow BBC Tees on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to

More stories from BBC North East and Cumbria

Related internet links