Police probe possible arson attack after blaze on ground floor of Wigan tower block

An investigation has been launched after fire broke out in the ground floor flat of a Wigan tower block.

Initially firefighters feared the male occupant of the home in Mannion House, Scholes, was trapped inside, when smoke was seen pouring from the windows.

But thankfully he was absent and, furthermore, fire doors and windows prevented the blaze – in the flat’s own hallway – from spreading.

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Only the residents of the address above were evacuated as six engines from Wigan, Hindley and Atherton plus one aerial appliance attended the scene at 7am on Wednesday October 5.

Mannion House, off School Lane, Scholes
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However fire service personnel visited all the flats up to the sixth floor to make sure that residents were accounted for while gas detectors checked that there were no carbon monoxide emissions.

With horrific memories of the Grenfell Tower disaster inevitably called to mind, watch manager Nigel Shepherd was asked what the risks were to other residents from a blaze like that.

He said: “We are fortunate with our flats in Wigan in that there’s no dodgy external cladding, so there’s no danger to the rest of the flats except for maybe a bit of smoke getting into them.”But the fire doors and windows in the home where the fire broke out did their job too.

"The flames were contained in the hallway so they weren’t coming through the front of the flat and up the exterior walls. The flat itself was badly smoke logged though.

"When we arrived I spoke to someone who said that he wasn’t sure if there was someone inside or not, because there is usually a man living there alone there.

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"So I made the incident a ‘persons reported’ but after searching and ventilating the premises we were happy to report there was no-one inside.

"The matter has been reported to the police and both CID and scenes-of-crime were down there yesterday.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to ring police on 101 or the freephone Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555111.