Fire which engulfed shop and flats in Leyland 'still under investigation'

A blaze which completely gutted a store in Leyland is "still under investigation", the fire service said.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:18 pm

The vacant premises in Towngate, near the junction with Broad Street, caught fire at around 12.20am, with five flats above and behind the shop having to be evacuated.

Eight fire engines, including the stinger appliance and aerial ladder platform, attended the scene and firefighters used two breathing apparatus, four hose reels and one jet to extinguish the fire.

No serious injuries have been reported, but eight people have been treated for smoke inhalation, with two people taken to hospital as a precaution.

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Today (May 21), Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the blaze "is still under investigation," but it did not say whether the cause is believed to be suspicious.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: "We were called at 12.39am on May 20 to reports of a fire at a tea shop in Towngate, Leyland

"The shop and an above flat have suffered significant damage. Two people were taken to hospital as a precaution.

"An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire."

The building was engulfed in flames within minutes of the fire breaking out.

Lancashire Police have been approached for more information.

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Kim Almond, 23, and Zach Douglas, 20, are believed to have saved the lives of up to six people who were asleep inside their flats when the fire broke out.

After pulling over and calling 999, the pair embarked on a daring rescue mission of their own, banging on residents doors in order to wake them up,

Eight fire engines and 40 firefighters battled the blaze.

"It was the scariest night of our lives," Kim said.

"I've never been so terrified in my life, but me and Zach just couldn't stand there watching and waiting.

"They needed help and we needed to act fast."

The pair, along with their friend Shania and another brave passerby called Robin, have been hailed as heroes by the local community, who have been full of praise for their daring late-night rescue efforts.

The shop in Towngate, Leyland engulfed in flames.

You can read more about their heroic actions by clicking here.

You can also view a gallery of pictures showing the fire and its aftermath here, as well as video footage of the blaze here.

Anybody with information about the fire can call police on 101, quoting log number 0029 of May 20.

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