A ROOF blaze put three businesses in Burnley town centre out of action.

Flames ripped through the ceilings above Jazzman Grooves, Alfie’s Butty Shop and Holt and Longworth Solicitors.

Yesterday the three properties in Bull Street were boarded up.

Paul Johnson, who named his shop Alfie’s after his four-year-old son, said he was devastated as it was his family business and he wasn't sure when it would re-open.

He added: “There is a lot of structural damage upstairs and we won’t be opening for a while at least.

“We will have to go through the insurance and the owner of the building but we will want to re-open as soon as we can. It is a family business and it is very important to us, but there is roof damage and we don’t know what is required at the moment.

“I’m not sure what damage has been done to our equipment, but we had a load of food in the freezer which will have to go now.

“It is devastating for us really.

"The whole family has been down this morning and we just can’t believe it. It’s my 40th birthday today but this is not a present I wanted.”

Alfie’s Butty Shop was opened in May 2009 and several members of Mr Johnson's family work in the premises.

The blaze caused a huge hole above the sandwich shop and Jazzman Grooves barbers, owned by Baron Laird, which has been open for 24 years.

Holt and Longworth Solicitors also suffered some smoke and water damage following the blaze. Work to replace the door was taking place yesterday.

When fire crews arrived at the scene on Sunday at around 11pm, flames could be seen coming out through the roof.

Firefighters had to smash through the doors of each property to tackle the blaze which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

A mobile fire station was also set up at the scene and an aerial ladder platform was drafted in to help firefighters to spray water on the flames from above.

Damage to the contents of the shops was protected with tarpaulin.

The roof and inner structure of the buildings were severely affected by the fire.

Watch manager Neil Ashworth said: “What has happened is devastating for the owners of these businesses.

“We were called to reports of smoke coming from the roof the building, but when we arrived we couldn’t tell where the fire was, so we had to force entry in to all three shops.“After that we still couldn’t find the source of the fire so we needed to get access to the roof space, which is where the fire was.

“We then looked to protect any valuable items inside the three businesses by protecting them with sheets or getting them moved, while also dealing with the fire.

“We were at the scene for three hours and after an investigation found that the fire had started as a result of an electrical fault, with a wire which we believe was smouldering for a while before it caught fire.

“The fire damaged around 10 square metres of roof space above the barbers shop and the sandwich shop.”