FEARFUL tenants have raised concerns over their safety after a fire ripped through a home on their estate, causing devastating damage.

Several residents living on the Shadsworth Estate in Blackburn have complained to their housing agent over the "ridiculous" fencing installed outside their homes – believing this was the reason a home in Staffa Crescent was left gutted by a blaze earlier this month.

The family living in the home, which included five children, were left with "nothing" because of the fire – sparking a community response for people to donate to help them get back on their feet.

And while landlord Together Housing said it is aware of people’s concerns, it has stated it cannot speculate about the cause or spread of the fire until Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service publishes its investigation findings.

The concerns were raised by residents less than a year after a huge fire ripped through a row of houses in Worcester Road, Whitebirk, causing extensive damage.

Immediately after the fire, questions were asked of fencing installed in the neighbourhood which "went up in minutes" according to some residents.

Similar questions have now been asked by those living on the Shadsworth Estate after they witnessed plastic fencing going up in flames before the home was engulfed.

Community Group Shadsworth Chefs were quick to post about their concerns, stating: “The fire on Staffa Crescent spread so rapidly because of those ridiculous fences that are still up all over Shadsworth and Whitebirk.

“Last year there was a massive fire in Whitebirk those fences contributed to. A number of families lost everything.

"A few months later another fire happened on Staffa Crescent that involved those same type of fences.

“Together Housing what are you going to do about these fences? Does someone have to die? Is that more important to you, or is it the cost it would take to replace them all? Do you not care about the people living in your houses?

“If you live in a house with this type of fence, I'd be pulling them down. They're clearly very dangerous.”

Alex Hodkinson added: “Those fences are extremely dangerous and it’s a shame Together Housing can't be bothered to do anything about it.

“I thought after the fire at Whitebirk people had seen the devastating after-effects of that type of fencing.

“That type of fencing needs to be stopped being sold, it's going to kill someone eventually.”

Responding to the criticism, Caroline Grosvenor, Director of Placeshaping at Together Housing Group, said she was "sorry to hear about the fire".

Ms Grosvenor added: “While we await the report from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service we can’t speculate as to the cause of the fire, though a number of residents have raised concerns with us about the fencing.

“We have recently completed some work in Whitebirk estate replacing fencing and we are extending this programme into Shadsworth.

"We will be notifying residents on the estate shortly to keep them up to date.

“In the meantime, if any residents have any concerns, they should contact us immediately via our website.”

Head of Prevention and Protection for LFRS, Area Manager Mark Hutton, said: "Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is aware that there are a variety of fencing materials used across the county.

"Once ignited, some composite fence panels can burn rapidly with intense heat and significant smoke production. 

"We are working with Together Housing and other housing associations who use such fencing, and we are providing fire safety advice to these organisations and their residents.

"It is important that all residents, regardless of the materials in their fencing panels, follow basic outdoor fire safety guidance to help prevent such fires from taking place in the first place.

"We advise residents to keep barbecues, small garden waste fires smoking materials, weed burners, or anything else that could cause a fire away from fences, sheds and garden foliage.

"These potential ignition sources need to be carefully extinguished, and not moved until completely cold. Even the smallest burning ember can result in a significant, uncontrolled fire, especially during periods of dry weather."