Fire crews called to derelict mill fire in Chorley

An investigation has been launched after a huge fire at Chorley’s oldest surviving cotton mill building in the early hours of Sunday.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 4:53 pm

Eight fire engines and an aerial ladder platform dealt with the incident at the five-storey Standish Street Mill, which was reported shortly after 2am.

Incident commander, Group Manager Kirsty McCreesh of Lancashire Fire and Rescue said the fire broke out on the fourth floor and that, by the time crews arrived, it spread to the third and fifth floors.

“Crews made a massive effort to prevent the fire spreading any further and we had help from colleagues from Greater Manchester Fire Service,” she said.

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A drone image of the fire at the mill in Standish Street, Chorley in the early hours of Sunday. Picture: Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

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“The building was searched to ensure no one was inside and no injuries have been reported.”

Firefighters used breathing apparatus and two hose reels to extinguish it.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Standish Street Mill on Sunday afternoon following the fire

The building is thought to date back to the early party of the 19th century and revised planning permission was granted by Chorley Council earlier this year for it to be converted modern apartments.

Permission was previously granted in 2019 to redevelop the landmark mill in the town centre to create 48 new homes.

But the scheme was then rethought, with the number of apartments reduced to 30 - and more of the original structure left standing.

Although not a listed building, the history of the mill means it is considered a heritage asset.

A survey of textile mills carried out a decade ago by what is now Historic England, concluded that it was “one of the oldest steam-powered cotton mills in the country”.

It most recently operated as a printworks, but has been derelict for some time.