Devastated company bosses have estimated more than half a million pounds worth of damage has been caused to their business after a fire ripped through a yard in the early hours of Friday morning. 

Around sixty firefighters from across Lancashire worked through the night to bring the huge blaze, at Equestrian Surfaces Ltd under control.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Crews were called just after midnight on Thursday to the Smallshaw Industrial Estate on Accrington Road in Burnley following reports of a fire breaking out within a commercial property.

Equestrian Services Ltd makes the material which is used for surfacing arenas and schools for horse riding, and bosses now estimate more than half a million pounds worth of machinery was damaged in the fire, as the blaze ripped through the building which contained equipment such as granulators and tractors.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Rita Harper, who runs Equestrian Service Ltd alongside her two sons, James and Thomas, said: "My son got the call around midnight. It was actually the business next door, EFS, who phoned him, and we got onto the fire service.

"By the time I turned up, around 3am, the firefighters were working flat out. 

"We recycle carpets, granulate them and manufacture our own surfaces and then provide them to the equestrian world.

"Luckily with Covid, we didn't have any carpet in as all the recycling centres have been shut but we've still been working, as we have a depot in Cheshire too, so there were about five or six machines in there, one that we got new just the other day.

"There's probably more than half a million pounds worth of machinery been damaged."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mrs Harper said the family were waiting on their insurance company coming out to assess the exact extent of the damage, but the building, which has asbestos roofing, will remain standing as there has been no breach to its structural integrity. 

She said: "The property was secure, and the machines are stored in that building for security purposes.

"All the gates were closed and the firefighters had to break through to get in.

"We have CCTV cameras on the site and we looked through the footage and at 11.30pm it was all clear.

"But by midnight you could see the flames."

At the height of the incident early on Friday morning, around 60 firefighters from crews all across Lancashire were in attendance tackling the blaze with specialist equipment.

The fire was brought under control by around 5am, and as of 8am on Friday, only one crew remained at the scene, checking for potential hotspots and damping down.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “Firefighters from Burnley and Nelson were called to reports of a fire involving a commercial premise on Accrington Road, Burnley shortly after midnight.

"On arrival they found a significant fire involving a building approximately 40m by 20m."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mrs Harper added: "We just want to thank the fire service. They've been absolutely fantastic.

"They came from all over and they had to draw water from the canal, they were brilliant."

Firefighting support was requested to assist initial crews, including fire engines from Colne, Great Harwood, a second crew from Nelson, and Hyndburn, Rawtenstall, two aerial ladder platforms (ALP) from Hyndburn and Morecambe, the high volume pump (HVP) from Burnley and the stinger appliance from Skelmersdale.

The command support unit from Blackburn and aerial support unit were also in attendance. 

The fire produced a large smoke plume and residents living nearby being affected by the smoke were advised to close their windows and doors as a precaution.

Anyone travelling in the locality was also advised to avoid the area.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is now underway.

Equestrian Surfaces Ltd, who have been in Burnley for more than 25 years, have been operating throughout lockdown and are committed to remaining open for business following the fire.