Arson attack on old buses at Wigan compound

The fire-ravaged bus compound
The fire-ravaged bus compound

An arson attack is believed to be responsible for six old buses being devastated at a compound in Wigan.

But firefighters say only prompt action prevented the blaze, at a site off Templeton Road South, in Platt Bridge, becoming a more serious incident.

Crews from Hindley and Wigan stations were alerted at around 10.30pm last night to reports of a fire at the compound.

And using a hosereel jet and breathing apparatus, firefighters managed to contain the incident to just six old buses and one forklift truck.

Watch manager Mike Wilding, of Hindley station, said: “We worked hard to prevent the fire from spreading to other vehicles on the site.

“Three appliances attended as a great deal of water was required but the only environmental impact was the smoke coming from the fire.

“The site is quite vast and I had a walk around after the incident. It is quite open and there is easy access, and we have some problems with youths in this area, so we cannot rule out that the fire may have been caused deliberately.”

An investigation is being conducted by Greater Manchester Police but firefighters reported that there were difficulties in locating a keyholder for the compound, while the incident was ongoing.

Coun Martyn Smethurst, who represents Abram ward, covering Platt Bridge, said that the compound stood on the site of a former tiling company, which had been closed for more than 30 years.

He told the Post that there were a number of developments in the pipeline which were set to regenerate the area, especially a major new estate which has been pencilled in for land off Millers Lane.

Land at the top of Bickershaw Lane is also up for sale, with planning permission for 22 homes.

“But on the odd occasion you will get something like this happening, which no-one has any control over,” he said.

Anti-social behaviour patrols have been carried by Abram police, over the past few weeks, and a new youth club has been finding its feet in Liverpool Road.

Police are investigating the cause of the bus compound fire. Any witnesses can call the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.