WORK has been disrupted at a textile mill in Haslingden after a fire broke out beneath one of the looms.

Three fire crews were called to the small blaze at WM Lawrence Ltd, a family firm based at Grane Road Mill, at about 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Only four out of 50 looms were caught up in the fire, as night workers took ‘quick action’ to tackle the flames with fire extinguishers, before crews from Haslingden, Accrington and Rawtenstall arrived and used hoses to put the fire out.

Crew manager Andy Pennington said the fire was contained to the ducting below the looms, although the building was heavily smoke logged. He praised staff for stopping the flames spreading.

Christopher Soper, whose family runs the business, said yesterday: “We are in the process of assessing everything but the air conditioning (for the machines) isn’t working at the moment. There are a number of the looms working today but we’re trying to get more up and running. Hopefully we’ll get it all working in the next few days.

“Because of the nature of weaving you get a lot of fluff, so if something goes wrong with the looms and there’s any spark, then the lint will ignite.

“But we’ve got procedures in place and the staff here dealt with it in the correct way.”

The company produces furnishings and roller blinds, mainly for Carlisle-based furnisher Stead McAlpin.

Crew manager Pennington added: “There was quick action from the staff working there to use fire extinguishers and water to control the fire before we got there.”