Roads on the outskirts of Wallsend have been closed as firefighters deal with a blaze at a industrial yard.
A plume of smoke could be seen from the unit at Stephenson Street, Howdon, while police have sealed off roads to keep people away from the area.
Reports suggest one acetylene gas cylinder exploded after the fire broke out just after 10am today (Monday).
The fire was close to the entrance to the Tyne Pedestrian And Cyclist Tunnel and people were being kept away.
A spokeswoman for Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade said: “It is a dangerous situation and we are fighting it offensively.
“There are three appliances there and a ladder platform. The fire seems to have broken out in a small factory unit in a boat yard.”
On social networking site Twitter, Andy Wardle posted a picture and wrote: “Big fire near the pedestrian tunnel. Could get bad. Gas Canisters.” He added that the area had been evacuated.