A POPULAR Atherton shopping venue suffered thousands of pounds worth of stock damage because of a flood.
Ena Mill, on Gloucester Street, suffered heavy damage across three floors after an old one-inch sprinkler pipe on the second level burst in the early hours of Monday morning.
It is thought the pipe was pouring water into the building for around five hours before the first staff arrived just after 8am and called the fire service.
Water quickly built up on the second level, which was being used to store stock waiting to go on sale, before seeping through to the first and ground floors.
Firefighters on emergency salvage mission found water eight inches deep on the ground floor of the mill, with clothing, DVDs, greetings cards and other stock ruined.
Staff desperately worked to rescue as much stock as they could from the floodwaters, but losses from unsaleable stock and the closure of the mill while damage is repaired could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Three engines from Atherton Fire Service answered the call with one fire crew staying to help clear the damage, remaining at the scene for around four hours.
The mill suffered no structural damage, but ground floor carpets will need replacing and stock racks may also have been damaged.
Watch Manager Russ Condon from Atherton Fire Service said: “It is most likely the cold temperatures were to blame for this old pipe bursting.
“It was a painted, bare metal pipe, so companies should be aware that in this cold weather, water will expand and contract, so pipes need to be insulated.”