FIRE crews spent three hours putting out a blaze at a car repairs garage in Burnley.

Two fire engines from Burnley and one from Nelson attended the fire in New Hall Street at 9.20pm on Wednesday.

They had to cut through security fencing to gain access before putting out the flames, damping down and then securing the site.

Watch manager Neil Ashworth said: “The fire was reported by a member of the public and when we arrived on the scene there was smoke coming from a garage that formed part of a unit in a large mill.

“Upon our arrival we were faced with a well developed fire in a compound at the rear of a building.

“We struggled to get into the premises due to the amount of security gates and had to cut through them.

“We were faced with a severe fire under an external canopy of a car workshop which had spread to the building causing some fire damage to the roof and light smoke damage to the inside of the building.

“We were unable to contact the owners of the premises so secured it ourselves and left a note to call us.

“When we returned the following morning there was still no sign of the owners.”

Most of the damage was to wood in an open shed outside the unit.

Dozens of cars either waiting to be repaired or used for scrap were parked just feet away, but none of them were damaged.

The row of four units are all owned and rented out by the same individual.

Watch manager Ashworth said the fire was believed to be accidental, possibly caused by somebody cooking meat.

He said: “We believe some slow cooking or smoking meat outside the premises started the fire.

“There was a large quantity of cars in the yard but none were affected.”