Preston fire chief: Arsonists are putting lives at risk
All four of Preston’s nighttime crews were called to a major blaze in the city which lead to a series of explosions in the early hours of yesterday morning.
At the same time a serious crash occurred on the M6 near Preston. Crews from Longridge and Bamber Bridge had to be dispatached to cover the crash because all of Preston’s firefighters were busy tackling the blaze – which was caused by arson.
Watch manager David Shaw (pictured) said the situation is putting lives at risk after crews responded to six similar incidents in 10 days.
He said the “entirety of Preston’s cover”, was attending the fire at Burnsall Place, thought to have been sparked when a mattress was set alight next to a business premises.
He said: “This is the sixth incident we have attended in this area in the last 10 days.
“The heat from the fire caused aerosols, which were contained in the unit, to explode.
“At the same time there was a crash on the M6 which fire services needed to attend.
“The people who are starting these fires are putting people’s lives at risk.”
CCTV is now being scoured for further information on the blaze which started around 4am in an outbuilding of Autopoint Car Accessories.
Watch manager Shaw added: “One of our officers served in Northern Ireland during the 1980s and said the scenes were so bad they reminded him of his time in Crossmaglen.
“This fire could easily have been avoided if the rubbish in the area had been discarded of properly.
“We are actively looking at CCTV from the area and will be advising police.”
Business owner Amar Iqbal said he was devastated by the loss and disruption to his business which has been at the premises since 2005.
The 36 year-old said: “It was very emotional to wake up to these scenes.
“We have lost thousands of pounds worth of stock and we weren’t insured as it’s very difficult to insure outbuildings containing these kinds of materials.
“We are in the process of clearing up and moving on.
“We’ve never had any problems like this before.”
Two people were taken to hospital following the motorway crash between junctions 31 and 32 of the M6 at 6.20am yesterday.
Fire crews had raced to the scene after reports people were trapped.
The casualties were reported to have sustained minor injuries.