A DOG bakery was destroyed in a massive blaze allegedly sparked by a poorly-fitted smart meter, it has been claimed.

Diane Murphy, 44, of Great Harwood-based Millie and Ruby’s, insists an engineer for E.ON failed to install the meter correctly – causing it to ‘overheat and burst into flames’.

She commissioned a forensic investigator who says two screws connecting wires to the unit had not been tightened fully – causing it to arc.

The baker is now considering suing the energy giant after losing £70,000 in lost trade and cancelled contracts.

Ex-police officer Diane, from Sabden, said: “My business has gone down the pan. I am doing what I can from home but I have lost contracts because I no longer have the capacity to fulfil them.

“It’s impossible to make a living by working from home. I can’t progress the business from home so I’ll have to ask the question if it’s worth continuing. I invested a lot of money in setting up the bakery and haven’t got the money to start again.”

She is also concerned she may not be able to fund a legal action. On the day of the fire, Diane switched on the oven at Millie and Ruby’s Dog Bakery, and within minutes could smell burning.

She said: “Without our knowledge the loose wires had been arcing every time we turned the power source on.

“I had noticed that when I turned the oven on, the lights would start flickering or the food mixers would stop working for a few seconds.

“That morning, I didn’t switch the oven on straight away but when I did, I could smell burning. I went to find out where the smell was coming from, and I noticed that where the wires inserted into the smart meter, it was glowing red.

“I rang the fire service but within minutes the whole building went up in flames.”

The mother-of-one says it took firefighters five hours to contain the blaze which occurred at the Queen Street premises in April last year.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans wrote to E.ON’s chief executive seeking answers after the firm allegedly failed to respond to Diane for five months.

Her insurance company, landlord and solicitor have all written to E.ON stating the smart meter was to blame but the company has denied responsibility.

A spokesman for E.ON said the firm was unable to comment while investigations were on-going.