FIREFIGHTERS are dealing with a major blaze at flats in Waterfoot.

Over 40 firefighters from Bacup, Rawtenstall, Haslingden, Burnley, Hyndburn and Blackburn have been called to the incident at the site of the former Mason Arms pub in Burnley Road East. The fire is also involving five flats.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 3.10pm and were initially unclear as to whether people were trapped inside.

But a fire service spokesman has confirmed that all people have been accounted for.

The fire is believed to have started in the downstairs bar area of the pub and has been described as a 'serious blaze'.

A road closure has been put in place between Bridge Street and Tom Lane to allow firefighters to deal with the incident.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are using hose reel jets, thermal imaging cameras and portable fans to extinguish the fire.

A fire service spokesman said : "Fire engines and crews from Bacup, Rawtenstall, Haslingden, Burnley, Hyndburn and a mobile command centre and support fire engine and crew from Blackburn were mobilised to the at the former Mason Arms, Burnley Road East, Waterfoot, at 3.10pm this afternoon. The property has now been converted in to five flats.

"A building of three floors, the ground floor former bar area was on fire and the substantial firefighting resources was used to ensure that sufficient firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus and hosereel jets were available and in reserve to conduct search and rescues for possible casualties.

"Thankfully, no-one was trapped inside and at 4pm firefighters are still at work extinguishing the fire using hosereel jets, powerful water jets supplied by hydrants, portable fan units to extract smoke and heat and thermal imaging cameras to ensure that areas on fire but not otherwise visible will be located and extinguished."

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

A police spokesman said: "We were called at around 3.10pm to reports of a fire at The Mason Arms in Burnley Road East, Waterfoot. A road closure has been put in place and our officers are enforcing it."

More to follow......