TAKEAWAY bosses were today counting the cost after a fat fryer blaze destroyed their business.
Crews from Hindley, Atherton, Leigh and Hyde battled through the night to douse the flames at the Ali Baba Italian eatery on Railway Road, Leigh, on Sunday.
But the intense heat left the premises completely gutted.
Four workers had managed to escape without injury and call the emergency services before the fire spread.
An overheated chip range has since been identified as the cause of the blaze.
Leigh fire station watch manager James Howard said: “When we arrived on the scene the takeaway was already well alight.
“Flames were coming out of the doors and windows and rolling down the front of the building.
“The chip range had overheated and self-ignited and one of the workers had thrown a fire blanket over it but that just caught fire as well.
“The oil was burning upwards and the flames hit the ceiling.
“We got the fire under control quickly but it took a while after that to get inside and search the building and the property next door to check for further fire spread.
“We were there for four hours in total then further crews attended to relieve us.”
The 20-strong team of firefighters used breathing apparatus and two jets to tackle the fire, which stated at 11.30pm, and a fan to clear the smoke.
Watch manager Howard added: “There were no injuries as the staff got out in time but the shop is pretty much wrecked inside.”
Fire bosses have issued a warning about the dangers of attempting to tackle cooking fires.
The chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun David Acton, said: “Don’t ever try to tackle the fire yourself and never go back into a burning building.
“Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire - leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the building to get out and don’t go back inside for any reason.
“If you have a fire in your home or business our advice is to get out, stay out and call 999.”