A CAR workshop in Leigh has been gutted following a large fire.
Thick smoke could be seen for miles, as flames tore through a single-storey brick commercial building in Bolton House Road, Bickershaw, shortly before 7am on Friday.
Around 20 firefighters from Leigh, Atherton, Hindley and Wigan stations attended the scene, using breathing apparatus and were faced with a large blaze surrounding the unit, measuring approximately 40 metres by 10 metres.
They quickly brought the fire under control using jets and water from an aerial appliance – stopping it spreading to other parts of the building.
They also used a positive pressure fan and breaking in gear.
Crews were unable to get into the unit due to a wooden mezzanine floor and the instability of the building, and so had to fight the flames from the outside.
The unit is thought to be a workshop which is used for car repairs. It also contained furniture.
The cause of the fire, which has created substantial damage, is not yet known, but it is thought the blaze started from the outside and spread through a ventilation pipe into the building.
Inquiries are ongoing as fire officers are still trying to establish the owner of the unit.
Station manager Jim O’Byrne, who is leading the incident, said: “There are three small units within the building and the fire involved the middle unit in which there were cars and furniture.
“The fire appears to have started from the outside and spread through a ventilation pipe into the building – the cause of that fire is still being established.
“We got the fire surrounded and brought it under control quickly but as there was nobody inside the building and no life in danger, we haven’t risked sending our crews inside because the floor is unstable.”
Police closed Bolton House Road and part of Bickershaw Lane on Friday morning as firefighters tackled the blaze.