An asbestos warning has been issued after the fire service was called to a former church in Barnoldswick.

Four fire engines from Nelson, Burnley and Colne were sent to a blaze at a site on Hollins Road at 8.22pm, on Saturday (June 15).

The council has now issued a warning after asbestos cement debris was released following the fire, at the derelict Gospel Mission Hall.

If asbestos-containing products are damaged in some way, fibres may be released.

According to the Government website, "all forms of asbestos fibres are hazardous as they can induce cancer".

Breathing in high concentrations of asbestos for a long period of time mainly affects the lungs, causing a disease called asbestosis where breathing becomes difficult and the heart enlarges.

The council said it has started to clean the streets and is working to remove debris from gardens.

Homeowners have been urged not to remove debris in their gardens.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Following a fire at Gospel Mission Hall in Barnoldswick there has been a release of asbestos cement debris. We've delivered letters to homes in the immediate area with advice.

“We’ve started to clean the streets and we’ll be working to remove any debris from gardens as soon as possible. Please do not remove debris yourself or mow lawns until we have had an opportunity to assess any spread of debris over your property.

“To do this, please allow Pendle Council staff to enter your garden or yard. If needed, we will remove debris and carry out a clean-up of the area.

“Please note that anyone knocking at your door will have appropriate identification and should be refused access if they are unable to provide it.

“If you have any questions, please call our Environmental Health Team on 01282 661034.”

Fire crews spent three hours tackling the fire. No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is not yet known. 

The fire service asked residents to stay indoors and avoid the area as they dealt with the fire.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "At 8.22pm on Saturday, June 15, four fire engines from Nelson, Burnley and Colne [were] in attendance at a derelict building fire on Hollins Road, Barnoldswick.

“Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used three hose reel jets and one hose reel to extinguish the fire.

“We [asked] residents to stay indoors and avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed.

“Crews were in attendance for three hours.”