21.6.16 Fire crews tackle large fire at Lancashire sawdust mill


Up to 90 fire fighters tackled a "major fire" at a sawdust mill in Lancashire.

The blaze started at about 09:00 at Whitfire Shavings on Church Lane, Farington Moss, Lancashire

Fire crews started to reduce the blaze which spread to six warehouses storing "very flammable" wood shavings and compressed sawdust.  Plumes of smoke could be seen up to five miles away in Preston.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said there were no reports of casualties. 

Lancashire Police advised people to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed due to the smoke and possible toxins.  Homes closest to the wood mill in Lancashire were evacuated amid fears of a “toxic threat” as fire crews battled the major blaze.  Nine homes were evacuated as a safety precaution after it was confirmed that one of the buildings contained asbestos.

Initially, four fire engines were at the scene on the residential street, but 10 engines and an aerial ladder platform were called out.  Crews at the scene were from Leyland, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham, Darwen, Blackburn, Hyndburn, Preston, Fulwood, Burnley, Longridge and Tarleton.

The blaze involved six buildings containing compressed sawdust, and about 90 fire fighters were at the scene, along with police.  There have been no reported injuries.

Some road closures remained in place overnight with access for residents while Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service continue to dampen down the fire. 

 The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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Registered Office:  Southwold House, 66 Botley Road, Park Gate, Southampton, United Kingdom

Company number: 07810000