Fire investigation work is delayed

Photo Neil Cross'The aftermath of the fire at the furniture warehouse in Ribbleton, Preston
Photo Neil Cross'The aftermath of the fire at the furniture warehouse in Ribbleton, Preston
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Investigations into the cause of a huge furniture store blaze could go on for weeks, according to fire chiefs.

Fire crews with an aerial ladder platform were still at the wreckage of Ron N Nat’s Furniture Factory in Dunmore Street yesterday - more than 36 hours after flames started.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “There are still small fires being tackled in the building, and because of this investigators can’t get work properly.

“Also, bad weather and the state of the building are complicating factors, so I can imagine the investigation work will go on for a couple of weeks.”

The fire broke out just before 1am on Tuesday and wrecked the single-storey unit near Preston Prison.

In total, 80 firefighters from across Lancashire were brought in to successfully stop the fire spreading to neighbouring units.

Three aerial ladder platforms were needed, two drones were used to help firefighters see where to direct their efforts, and a hazardous materials team were sent in because of asbestos in the building’s roof.

While firefighting work was taking place, busy routes around Preston city centre were closed for hours by police, including Ribbleton Lane.

Nearby businesses were delayed opening until midday and electricity to some properties was temporarily cut off to prevent any further safety problems.

Nobody was hurt.