Investigation after massive factory fire in Radcliffe

Around sixty firefighters have spent the night tackling a blaze at a factory in Radcliffe.

At 9.45pm on Thursday, August 24, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received the first of a large number of calls reporting smoke coming from a disused industrial building on Bury Road, Radcliffe.


The first crews at the scene, from Bury and Whitefield fire stations, immediately requested more crews to deal with a large and well-established fire in a number of industrial buildings, about 75 x 75 metres.


A total of 10 engines, two aerial appliances and a number of specialist vehicles were used by the 60 firefighters at the scene to support their efforts in battling and containing the fire.


During the early stages, there was a small explosion when a large gas pipe ruptured, creating a gas flare and causing a collapse in a small part of the buildings.


As a temporary precaution, 100 houses near to the site were temporarily evacuated and the residents relocated to an emergency rest centre, coordinated by Greater Manchester Police and the local council.


Station Manager Paul Duggan said: "We were faced with a very busy scene with a rapidly developing fire


"It was difficult as there was limited access to the site and there were a large number of houses very close, which the fire could have spread to.


"The heat was such that it cracked windows in the flats opposite.


"All the residents really worked with us to make sure it was resolved safely."


Resident Anthony Lingard was on his way home from an evening out when he saw the fire taking hold behind his house.


Anthony said: "We saw this huge column of smoke at the factory and, as it's behind our house, we rushed home to make sure everything was ok."


Anthony was one of the residents who spent the night at the civic hall while firefighters tackled the blaze.


A number of roads adjacent to the site were closed for safety - and were likely to remain closed for some time.


The gas supply to the fractured pipe was isolated at about 2:30 am and crews began damping down the scene and allowing residents to return to their homes wherever possible.


Some roads remain closed.


Crews remain at the scene and a joint GMFRS and GMP investigation into the cause is due to take place.

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