A TEENAGER from Burnley has confessed to starting a fire which caused damage totalling £1million to a Burnley store.

Ben Young, 19, is facing youth custody after admitting to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, at the Spar in Padiham Road, on January 6.

Young, of Thorn Street, Duke Bar, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to setting the fire, which caused several neighbouring homes to be evacuated.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Simon Newell for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports until March 25.

Prosecutor Andrew Robinson told an earlier hearing that the provisional estimate of the cost of damage to the building, near Palace Gardens, had been put at around £1million.

Just a short time earlier staff had locked up the premises on Sunday night.

But as the Spar store is in such a built-up area, the endangerment element of the charge related to the proximity of nearby homes.

Around 20 firefighters from Burnley, Nelson and Padiham fire stations tackled the blaze at its height and several nearby residents were asked to leave their homes.

Initial fears centred on the effect of the developing fire on the large stock of wines and spirits held at the store.

Staff were relocated to nearby stores and the site, owned by Preston-based franchisees James Hall and Co Ltd, is still cordoned off while a decision is made over possible demolition.