Police investigation launched with major fire near Preston treated as suspicious

A police investigation has been launched after a large fire ripped through a house near Preston.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 7:47 pm
The fire from above (Image: Chris Rainford/LFRS)

Six fire engines from Fulwood, Preston, Penwortham and Bamber Bridge were called to Sandy Lane, near Cottam, at around 6pm on Saturday (October 19).

The fire destroyed an unoccupied house and no one is believed to be injured.

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Huge fire rips through building near Preston

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The fire (Image: LFRS)

Following a debrief at 10am this morning (Sunday, October 20), police have opened an investigation in to the fire and are treating it as suspicious.

A spokesman said: "The fire spread rapidly and largely destroyed the property, though thankfully nobody was living at the address at the time and no-one is believed to have been injured.

"At this time the incident is being treated as suspicious and we are working with our colleagues at the Fire Service to establish exactly what occurred."

Drone footage taken from the site by Chris Rainford from LFRS showed flames engulfing the entire building, with smoke rising high into the sky.

Officers are looking to speak to anybody with information about the incident, or who saw anybody in the area acting suspiciously in the period of time before 6pm.

DI Nick Hills, of Preston Police, added: "This fire caused a huge amount of damage and it is incredibly fortunate that nobody is believed to have been injured.

"We are working with our colleagues at the fire service to establish exactly what occurred and we would like to hear from anybody who has information about the incident.

"We would also like to speak to anybody who was in the area at the time and saw anyone acting suspiciously."

Whether the incident is being treated as suspected arson remains unclear.

When approached by the Post for clarification, Fore Incident Manager at Lancashire Police, Phil Broughton, said they police are keeping an "open mind" over the incident.

On Sunday morning, a spokesman for Preston Fire Station said: "We were there until just before midnight, around 11pm.

"There was a presence there all night and still there now."

Nearby residents have also been advised to keep their windows and doors closed to avoid any smoke.

Anyone with information is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log number 1282 of October 19.