Man taken to hospital after large fire breaks out at Wigan paint factory

A man was taken to hospital with burns after a large fire engulfed a paint manufacturers in Wigan yesterday evening.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 10:52 am
Firefighters managed to save the business, which is expected to reopen soon

Dozens of firefighters were called to tackle the blaze which broke out at Palatine Paints in Hindley Green at around 5pm yesterday (Wednesday).

Paramedics were called to the scene and a man was taken to hospital with burns to his arms and chest.

Witnesses reported hearing an “explosion” coming from the Smallbrook Lane site and seeing smoke pouring from the building.

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Firefighters managed to save the business, which is expected to reopen soon

The road was closed off from the Westleigh Lane junction to Lovers Lane for several hours and residents were evacuated from their homes for around two hours.

Paul Gibbons, watch manager at Atherton said: "It was an accident, there is no question of poor management or safety issues.

"He is hoping to be back up and running by the end of the week. Luckily the building has not been destroyed, not by any stretch.

"The business itself was savable so that was initially our priority and making sure that none of the solvents or hazardous materials were released into the atmosphere.

The road was closed off for five hours

"The flames were initially confined to one room but it spread fast.

"The first response team got it under control with hose reel and extinguished it quite quickly.

"Residents were evacuated for a couple of hours because were initially really concerned about the hazardous materials in the environment.

"The initial reports were quite worrying but we later found out exactly what was involved and deemed it safe for people to return to their homes.

"We gave them advice to shut their windows and doors."

Firefighters were joined by a specialist crew from Bury who worked to stop any contaminants running from the water to the stream which lies directly behind the site.

"We were very concerned about the run off," added Mr Gibbons. "The chemicals mix with the water used within the building. There is a stream directly behind the building.

"We can mitigate the risk ourselves at first but the Bury crew have specialist equipment to stop that from getting into the water source."

Crews used hose reels and breathing apparatus inside the building and also brought in a drone to check for dangerous heat spots within the structure.