POLICE were last night investigating the cause of a fire above a shop.

The fire service was called to the blaze in the upstairs flat of Premier Wetrooms in Bolton Road, Ewood.

Firefighters were called after a passer-by saw smoke coming from a window at 1.15pm.

The road was closed for an hour as two fire engines blocked the street as firefighters broke into the ground floor of the property to fight the blaze.

The fire service said the damage to the flat had been ‘severe’.

Traffic had to be diverted from the busy road near Hollins Bridge, between Ewood Park and the former Blackburn Royal Infirmary site. Crew manager Lee Cook said: “We don’t know how the fire started at this point.

“There has been severe damage to the upstairs floor, the ceiling and roof.”

Crew manager Cook said the fire was being treated as suspicious.

He said: “We have requested the police to assist us with our investigation.

“We are investigating the possibility of the light fitting in the room being the cause. We are still progressing with our investigation.

“It is suspicious in that there were no other ignition sources in the room at the time of the fire.”

Nobody was in the property at the time the fire started.

Firefighters used four breathing apparatus, a ventilation unit and a hose reel as they battled with the flames.

The owner of the shop, who did not wish to be named, said he had been out at the time the fire started.

He said: “I am absolutely gutted.”

Premier Wetrooms supplies and installs wetrooms, bathroom suites and shower installations across the East Lancashire area.