FIREFIGHTERS had to smash their way through a stone wall to gain access to a fire which broke out in the basement of a factory.

Crews were called to Metalcraft Ltd in Wellington Street, Accrington, where the fire, which burned for almost eight hours, had broken out.

They had to use breathing apparatus to tackle the fire and also summoned the major incident support unit from Preston to bring specialist equipment.

It is thought the blaze started after heat from an oven built up inside a heating duct and caused timber beams inside the basement to burst into flame.

Station officer Tony Hartley said: "The basement where the fire started had actually been enclosed for 20 to 30 years, so before we could get to the fire a 3ft section of wall had to be knocked out.

"The fire was just confined to the cellar. The area has been made safe but there is some structural damage to the factory."