PART of a coffin makers in Nelson that was ravaged by a fire was demolished yesterday morning.

Diggers moved in to Walter Lambert and Sons to pull down a large section of their unit in Edgar Street, off Leeds Road.

It was also revealed yesterday that the company’s cat, 18-year-old Jess, died from smoke inhalation during the blaze in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A warehouse next to the main office at Walter Lambert and Sons had to be demolished because of damage caused, although the offices and another warehouse survived.

As the diggers pulled down the building, which had been declared unsafe by building control at Pendle Council, fire crews remained at the scene.

Neil Hardiman, the watch manager at Nelson Fire Station, said: “We are here damping down while the contractors demolish the building.

“There are parts we can’t get in to so when those sections are demolished we can go in and continue to damp down in that area.

“There are also specialist fire investigators on site looking at what may have caused the fire.

“We will be here for another couple of days dealing with the aftermath of the fire and cooling down the area.”

It is also believed that the management at the firm are now looking for alternative accommodation while repairs to the unit are carried out.

More than 40 firefighters from across East Lancashire tackled the fire at the factory at around 3am on Tuesday.

Homes located nearby were temporarily evacuated after flames ripped through stored timber at the 100-metre long complex.

The family firm, which was established by well known Nelson resident Walter Lambert, has been based there for around 90 years.

Bosses at the company were too upset to speak about the blaze yesterday.