A HUGE fire broke out at a recycling depot in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Seven fire crews attended the blaze at Wheeldon Brothers, in Kenyon Street, Ramsbottom, after getting the call at around 2.40am.

Neighbours reported seeing smoke coming from the roof of the industrial mill building, which is used for the recycling of a variety of materials.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said a 60 metre by 40 metre section of the building had been ‘well alight’ during the height of the blaze.

As well as crews from Manchester, an appliance from Rawtenstall was also tasked with dealing with the incident.

Robert Harvey, crew manager at Rawtenstall fire station, said: “At its height it was a big fire. When we arrived it was smoking quite a lot but the fire took hold quickly and it ended up being quite a significant incident.

“A crew from Manchester were still there when we left just before 8am, keeping an eye on it and making sure it stayed under control.

“With it being a recycling plant it spread very quickly. The roof is pretty much destroyed and at one point it looked like the walls were going to come down as well.

“It was impossible to get any officers inside the building to tackle the fire, we had to use aerial ladder platforms instead.”

The companies website said they recycle oil and other fuel, card and paper, green waste, tyres, plastic, polythene, wood, soil, hardcore, glass, metal and batteries.

During the fire Bridge Street was closed to traffic.

A crew from Greater Manchester Fire Service stayed at the scene all of Sunday to make sure the fire did not re-ignite.