Firefighters narrowly avoided a devastating blaze at a children’s play area following a huge gas leak as youths ran amok on Bonfire Night.
Crews were called to Kidz Kingdom in Bryn and found bins had been set on fire right against the wall and around plastic gas pipes.
We ended up with a huge gas leak and obviously escaping gas and fire don’t go together very wellCrew manager Simon Connor
The heat burnt through the plastic and allowed a large quantity of gas into the building, with firefighters facing a desperate race against time to ensure the flames did not get into the play area.
Luckily the blaze was contained and the authorities called out to deal with the gas, meaning there was no reason why the business could not open on Sunday.
The alarming incident, which occurred at around 9.55pm on Saturday November 5, was the second fire crews had to deal with in Bryn and Ashton in quick succession.
A gang of local youths are thought to be responsible for both incidents.
Firefighters had to put out a blaze at a phone box on Grange Road in Ashton and then had to head almost immediately to the children’s play area off Wigan Road.
The operation at Kidz Kingdom kept the crew at the scene for almost two and a half hours on one of the busiest nights of the year, with the emergency services finally leaving at around 12.15am on Sunday.
The phone box was completely destroyed by the flames and fire crews said both incidents could have been quite dangerous.
Crew manager Simon Connor from Wigan fire station said: “We ended up with a huge gas leak and obviously escaping gas and fire don’t go together very well.
“Luckily for the owners we managed to stop the fire getting into the building. They are very fortunate, a few more minutes and the fire would have been into the void and then the roof of the building.
“The phone boxes also have power going into them so they spark and bang when you are putting the fires out, It can be quite dodgy.
“We believe some of the same people are responsible for both incidents. We’ve been told there’s a gang of about seven male youths and they were basically roaming around Bryn and Ashton lighting fires.”