A 30-TONNE mining machine went up in flames at a Portland quarry – sending plumes of smoke billowing into the sky that could be seen for miles around.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the Inmosthay Quarry site, based off Easton Lane, from 2.44pm today (Monday, September 28).

Three fire engines - two from Weymouth Fire Station and one from Portland Fire Station - were called to the scene and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus got the flames under control within an hour.

The site is owned by Albion Stone but is used by G Crook And Sons to mine the stone in the quarry.

Residents in neighbouring Wyke Regis and Chickerell areas spoke of seeing plumes of 'thick black smoke' as fire crews tackled the blaze.

Dorset Echo: The resulting fire at Inmosthay Quarry in Portland (Credit: Kevin Burden)The resulting fire at Inmosthay Quarry in Portland (Credit: Kevin Burden)

A spokeswoman for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said a 30-tonne screener - machinery used to help sort mined stone - was severely damaged by the blaze.

She said: "We were called to a quarry site at Inmosthay, Portland at 2.44pm for a fire involving a 30-ton screener.

"Three crews attended, one from Portland and two from Weymouth, and two breathing apparatus wearers have used four hose reel jets to extinguish."

She added that the blaze started accidentally in the machine's engine bay and that no one was injured in the incident.

Witnesses in the area have described firefighters 'racing' to the scene to extinguish the flames.

Kevin Burden was walking along a footpath near to the scene when he saw firefighters tackling the blaze, and captured dramatic images of the incident as it unfolded.

Dorset Echo:

He watched fire crews using water hoses subdue the blaze and described seeing 'a lot of smoke and a lot of fire'.

Mr Burden added: "I just saw the fire from the vehicle. I imagine it was down to the machinery overheating.

"There was a lot of smoke. There was black smoke and there were flames coming from the machinery.

"It caused a huge pall of smoke over the area."

Dorset Echo:

Jim Draper, a local resident and a councillor at Portland Town Council, did not see the incident but appreciates how disruptive the fire will be to the supply chain of the quarry.

He said the quarry has been running and functioning normally and is 'well managed'.

He added: "The site has been quite busy for the last two months."

Dorset Echo has approached G Crook And Sons and Albion Stone for a comment.