Anger at fire damage

The aftermath of the fire in Hodges Street, Wigan
The aftermath of the fire in Hodges Street, Wigan

RESIDENTS are counting the cost of a devasting fire which ripped through the roofs of their homes.

A 40-year-old man was yesterday cautioned after he was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis following the blaze on Monday morning which saw seven homes evacuated in Hodges Street.

Police say inquiries are still ongoing after residents were forced to flee their homes.

The fire came at a great cost to several residents in the terraced properties after some of the roofing collapsed.

Residents from four of the houses still had not returned to their homes yesterday while the other three had been able to.

Mark Noonan, who lives next door-but-one to the property where the fire started, spent time yesterday assessing the extensive damage to his property. He has not been able to return to his home.

He told the Evening Post: “I was out at the time when I was told the house was on fire.

“I’m extremely angry and upset as it really shouldn’t have happened. I can’t really say much more but you can see the state the house is in.”

Ian Joynt, who lives four doors away, says he feels lucky that there was hardly any damage to his home.

He was able to return to his house, at the end of the row, at around 5pm.

He said: “I do think we’ve been lucky really, especially when you look at some of the other houses.

“Our neighbour came knocking on the door, telling us we had to get out.

“There was just smoke billowing everywhere, we were able to come home at about 4.45pm.”

Fire crews were called to the scene at about 10am after the fire broke out in a bedroom in one of the houses.

Firefighters fought from both inside and outside the houses to ensure the blaze was kept under control.