Huge blazes cause dev­as­ta­tion

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX SCAPENS @AlexS­capen­sMEN

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS are try­ing to es­tab­lish the cause of a fire which swept through a fam­ily busi­ness.

The Great Har­wood blaze en­gulfed 600 pal­lets and a re­pair work­shop as well as dam­ag­ing two other build­ings and de­stroy­ing eight ve­hi­cles at a nearby car park­ing com­pany.

Seven fire crews were called to JJ Pal­lets, of Alan Rams­bot­tom Way, on Tues­day, July 10 shortly af­ter 12.40pm.

Around 35 fire­fight­ers took more than two hours to get the flames un­der con­trol as they burned with such fe­roc­ity they were un­able to get close.

Roads were shut, caus­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion, and a thick plume of smoke could be sen from sev­eral miles away.

Coun Gareth Mo­lineux, from Great Har­wood, said: “The fire could be seen from quite some dis­tance, it was very vis­i­ble with black smoke.

“There was a video of it from Clay­ton-le-Moors, which is two miles away.

“I sus­pect it is go­ing to cause the busi­ness some con­sid­er­able dam­age.”

The cause of fire is thought to have been ac­ci­den­tal, but in­ves­ti­ga­tors were sift­ing through the af­ter­math on Wed­nes­day to try and es­tab­lish the ex­act cause as we went to press.

There were fears it would spread to other nearby busi­nesses but the only wider sig­nif­i­cant dam­age was to the eight ve­hi­cles.

Po­lice were also called and as­sisted with clo­sures of Hyn­d­burn Road, be­tween the Great Har­wood Tesco round­about and Whal­ley Road, Alan Rams­bot­tom Way and Park Road.

Watch man­ager Gary Drinkwa­ter, from Hyn­d­burn fire sta­tion, said the blaze be­gan out­side and, with the hot weather mak­ing con­di­tions ‘bone dry’, quickly grew.

He said: “The stacks of pal­lets burned so fiercely the heat gen­er­ated meant we had to fight the fire from dis­tance.

“It was one of the big­gest fires we have had this year. It’s still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated but we be­lieve it was ac­ci­den­tal.”

JJ Pal­lets was started as a busi­ness more than 25 years ago by John Janeczko, who passed the firm on to son-in-law Neil Kenyon in 2010.

We were un­able to con­tact the own­ers of the busi­ness at the time of go­ing to press.

Chaz Roberts

A huge plume of smoke rises above the pal­let fire in Great Har­wood

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