Mawdesley blaze residents evacuated

Residents were evacuated from their homes after an indsutrial unit caugfht fire

Fire crews were called to a single-storey industrial building being used as a garage and workshop in Mawdesley, near Chorley.

Residents in the Dark Lane and Gorsey Lane area of the village were evacuated.

Villagers were put up in a pub, village hall and with

neighbours.

The fire brigade said flammable acetylene cylinders were involved in the blaze, which broke out at the unit, between Hall Lane and Ridley Lane, at around 3.30pm on Thursday.

Mawdesley councillor Ken Iddon, of Bradshaw Lane, took in two neighbours and their pet dog.

He said: “People who live on Dark Lane and parts of Gorsey Lane were evacuated.

“Some went to the Robin Hood and some to the village hall, I believe.

“We were told it had been a fire and there was chlorine involved, and they were concerned about the fumes and people’s health. “They told me not to move from home and if they could evacuate me further who the road they would.

Mr Iddon described the area where the fire occurred and said he had not heard of any concerns about the activities taking place at the site.

”It’s a little industrial estate John Mawdesley set up and it does create employment for the area.

“But as some people have said, you don’t know what’s going on there. It’s like any industrial estate.

“I think people’s concerns were there were chemicals being stored near them. It was a bit of a shock to everybody.

“I don’t think anybody has been evacuated in Mawdesley for quite some time.”

Coun Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council Leader, said: “Our officers were called out as part of Operation Merlin to help look after residents, who were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

“They were there late into the night to ensure all residents, including those returning home from work, knew what was happening. It soon became clear the residents would be unable to return to their homes while the fire service cooled the cylinders, so we organised accommodation for them.

“A total of 29 residents and a dog were found overnight

accommodation.

“They were informed they could return to their homes early on Friday.”

A fire service investigator was due at the scene after the fire had been put out, to try to determine the cause.