Discarded cigarette caused blaze at £13 million Chorley development
A cigarette discarded by a trespasser is believed to have caused a fire and huge plumes of smoke at a £13 million building project in Chorley.
Fire crews from Leyland, Chorley and Horwich tackled the blaze at the Tatton Gardens development in Eaves Lane at 2.50pm on Sunday (September 26).
Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the fire and were able to prevent it from causing further damage to the Council-owned development.
No one was injured in the blaze but fire investigators believe it was caused by a trespasser who gained access to the site.
The trespasser is suspected of dumping a cigarette into a bucket of tar on the upper level of the 4-storey complex, which caused huge plumes of thick black smoke visible for miles around.
A picture taken on the top floor shows where the fire is believed to have started, with fire damage visible near to a number of highly flammable gas canisters.
No one has been arrested at this stage, but Lancashire Police said its investigation is ongoing.
A police spokesman said: "It has been reported to us and is under investigation at this stage. Enquiries are ongoing around any suspects."
A spokesman for Chorley Council said: "Some of you may have seen or heard about a fire at the site of our Tatton Gardens development (on Eaves Lane) on Sunday afternoon.
"The emergency services tackled and extinguished the fire very quickly with minimal damage caused.
"The cause of the fire is being investigated but at this stage is believed to have started as a result of a trespasser on site putting a cigarette butt in a bucket of tar, which caused the huge plumes of smoke.
"Thankfully, on this occasion no one was injured in the incident, but the outcome could have been so much worse.
"This serves as a reminder of the dangers of construction sites to people who think it is OK to trespass."
A fire service spokesman added: "Three fire engines from Leyland, Chorley and Horwich were called to a fire involving a building under construction on Eaves Lane, Chorley.
"Firefighters used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported."
What is the Tatton Gardens development?
It will consist of 62 assisted living apartments, new GP surgery and pharmacy, community café, new community centre including children's nursery, new building to complement the existing bowling green.
The Tatton recreation ground to the rear of the site will also undergo an extensive transformation to create play equipment for a range of ages and facilities for the whole community.
The £13 million development is to be part funded by the Homes England, Chorley Council and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Getting Building Fund.
Plans for the redevelopment of the area include:
- 62 apartment assisted living, affordable accommodation for the over 55's
- new GP surgery
- community café
- state of the art community centre
- children's nursery and garden for nursery children to enjoy
- small area for parking
- multi use games area
- existing bowling green with brand new building for bowlers
- event area
- entrance piazza
- picnic areas
- sensory gardens
- wildflower meadow area