A LARGE fire involving flats above three shops has caused disruption in the centre of Haslingden.

At its height, six fire crews battled the flames in the block across the road from the Texaco garage in Blackburn Road at around 5am today.

The main road has been closed between its junctions with John Street and Deardengate from 5.30am and some homes were evacuated nearby.

The fire service said the blaze has caused major damage to the flats with the roof of one of the properties collapsing.

It is not believed the shops were badly affected.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Crews using an aerial ladder platform have had to cut away at timber to look down at the first floor, while a building engineer from Lancashire County Council is on site to look at how structurally secure the properties are.

A resident on Townsend Street, Shamim Miah said: “The police came to wake us up at around 5.30am and told us to get out as there was a fire.

"We left the house in case the fire spread but after about 30 minutes we
were allowed back in.

“I think there was someone living in there as I’ve seen some people going in and out but I can’t say for sure.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Fire crews have spent all day on the site damping down and carrying out investigations.

A fire service spokesman said: “Six fire engines were called to a fire involving three commercial properties with flats above them on Blackburn Road, Haslingden.

“Firefighters are using one aerial ladder platform, four breathing apparatus, three hose reels and one jet to extinguish the fire.

Firefighters were still on the scene yesterday afternoon.

Greg Law, who works in the family butchers shop on Blackburn Road, said he was a little worried that the road closure would affect his trade.

Mr Law said: “I don’t know much about the fire, just that the back of the building is badly affected.

“We’ve not been told much about how long the road closures will be in place either but I hope it’s not too long.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Rossendale Council leader Alyson Barnes paid tribute to the work of the emergency services.

She said: “I want to pay tribute to all involved for getting the fire
under control so quickly.

“Once again our emergency services did us proud.

“The council will work with our partners to deal with the aftermath of the fire and will work hard to get the area back to normal as soon as possible.”

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.