Lancashire

Lower Darwen mill blaze neighbours evacuated from homes

People living near to a fire at an engineering mill in Lancashire had to be evacuated from their homes in the early hours to avoid the effects of thick smoke.

About 50 firefighters were called to Riverside Precision Engineering on Sandy Lane, Lower Darwen at 01:34 BST.

The building which contained machinery and oil was too hot for crews to tackle immediately, the fire service said.

They concentrated on stopping the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings.

Local people were taken to a hotel for refuge and allowed to return to their homes by 06:30 BST after firefighters had managed to enter the mill and bring the fire under control.

A fire service spokesman said: "The firefighters who arrived in the initial stages of the fire did an excellent job ensuring that the fire did not spread and cause any further damage.

"The cause of the fire is still unknown at the moment and the fire investigation will begin as soon as the building is secure."

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