UPDATED: Firefighters contain major blaze at plastics firm

The scene of the fire at the Kirkless industrial estate in Cale Lane, Aspull, last night
The scene of the fire at the Kirkless industrial estate in Cale Lane, Aspull, last night

More than 30 firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at a plastics firm on a Wigan industrial estate overnight.


Fire crews were first alerted to the incident, at the Kirkless Industrial Estate in Cale Lane, Aspull, at around 9.30pm on Saturday.

Firefighters sealed off the Kirkless industrial estate in Cale Lane, Aspull, last night

Firefighters sealed off the Kirkless industrial estate in Cale Lane, Aspull, last night

One unit towards the rear of the site was gutted by the fire and neighbouring properties were affected by heat damage.

But firefighters managed to bring the incident under control before the flames spread to the large three-storey former coal board offices there or overhead power lines were affected, which could have knocked out supplies to a large part of Wigan.

Watch manager Mark Murphy, of Wigan fire station, said: "On our approach you could see the plumes of thick black smoke and an amber glow so we knew it was quite a major fire.

"There were a couple of security guards to show us the best route to reach the incident, which was at the rear of the industrial estate."

Kirkless Industrial Estate, in Cale Lane, Aspull

Kirkless Industrial Estate, in Cale Lane, Aspull

Six fire appliances, and an aerial platform and a mobile command unit were eventually drafted in to contain the fire, which had taken hold of a 50 metre by 20 metre building and was threatening nearby structures.

Mr Murphy added: "We also sent up our drone to give us an indication of what we were facing and assist our aerial platform.

"If the fire had affected the overhead lines there then electricity could have been taken out for a large part of Wigan."

Neighbours had reported seeing smoke drifting across the nearby estate and the industrial estate itself was sealed off for the operation. Incident commanders only reduced firefighters numbers there at around 2.30am today.

Several business owners are also understood to have been alerted to the blaze on the estate, which is home to a number of small and medium sized enterprises.

An investigation is underway regarding the cause of the fire and a number of firefighters and appliances will remain at the scene to damp down any lingering traces of the blaze for at least the rest of the morning.