Preston fire: This is everything we know so far about the huge blaze at the old Odeon cinema in Church Street

A huge blaze broke out an an old Odeon cinema in Preston city centre.

By Sean Gleaves
Friday, 20th May 2022, 8:47 am
Updated Friday, 20th May 2022, 8:57 am

Where the fire break out?

The fire broke out at the former Odeon in Church Street, Preston.

When did the fire start?

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Firefighters were called to the scene at around 6.43pm on Thursday (May 19).

How many fire engines attended?

12 fire engines from Preston, Bamber Bridge, Fulwood, Wesham, Leyland, South Shore, Blackpool, Great Harwood, Hyndburn, Penwortham and Tarleton attended at its height.

Crews were also supported by two aerial ladders platforms from Preston and Blackpool, the air support unit and a command support unit.

A huge blaze broke out at a former Odeon cinema in Preston city centre. (Credit: LFRS)

Eight fire engines and one aerial ladder platform remained at the incident on Friday morning (May 20) as firefighting operations continued.

Has the fire been brought under control?

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed on Friday morning (May 20) that the fire had been brought under control.

However, road closures remained in place and residents were advised to avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed.

12 fire engines and two aerial platforms were at the scene in Church Street at its height.

What did the fire service say?

Neil Taylor, Incident Commander and Area Manager for LFRS, said: “It’s a large incident at a building approximately 90m by 30m in size.

“Parts of the building are derelict and some other areas more towards the front of Church Street are still in use as commercial premises.

“We’ve currently got road closures on Church Street. I would imagine those road closures are going to be in place for a considerable time, potentially through until tomorrow morning and beyond.

Residents were advised to avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed. (Photo by David Wright)

“We’re currently asking people to keep their doors and windows closed.

“There is a smoke plume from the fire as you would expect, and while there is nothing abnormal in terms of that smoke plume it is just for general safety.

“I’d also ask people not to come to the area unnecessarily.

“It just makes it easier for our emergency responders to get in and out of the area if they’ve not got those large crowds.”

Is the fire being treated as suspicious?

The blaze follows a fire at St Joseph’s Orphanage and one at the former Odeon within hours of each other at the weekend.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed on Friday morning (May 20) that the fire had been brought under control.

Leader of Preston City Council, Councillor Matthew Brown, said the recent fires were “very disturbing” and suggested “a possible trend.”

“It has been raised by senior members and officers with both fire and police services,” he added.

“We will continue supporting our emergency services to effectively deal with the matter.”

Leader of Preston City Council, Councillor Matthew Brown, said the recent fires were “very disturbing”.