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Severe shop blaze destroys Hurst Cross block
Thursday 8th September 2016 @ 11:21 by Nigel P.
Ashton News

A fire described as ‘severe” by a  senior fire service commander, has completely gutted the interior of a large commercial block at Hurst Cross, despite the best efforts of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services (GMFRS).

WATCH: Our reporter Nigel Pivaro was at the scene earlier today

The fire was believed to have been discovered by the manager of the convenience store  as he arrived to open the shop early this morning at around 6.40 am, GMFRSs were then called out at 6 45 am, and tenders from a number of stations including Ashton, Oldham, Gorton, Manchester arrived to tackle the blaze. The fire fighters employed an innovative ultra high pressure lance to force a hole through the steel shutter and inject high pressured water through the shutters into the shop.

Two Firemen wearing breathing apparatus then entered the shop to tackle the blaze and though the ultra high pressure lance greatly assisted in controlling on the the blaze on the ground floor, unfortunately the fire quickly spread to the roof and the fire then took hold there.

At this point the Incident Commander called for the assistance of a Snorkel machine with a hydraulic platform to enable the fire crew to tackle the fire from above. Despite the deployment of the Snorkel from Whitehall station in Stockport the roof was virtually destroyed.

The video below was sent in by local butcher David Cole, it shows firefighters battling the flames at the outbreak of the fire this morning.

Other crew members of to 20 personnel were deployed with hoses to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent properties and dampen down recurring hotspots  Crews remained at the scene for least four hours to ensure the building were safe and there was no chance of re-ignition.

A firm of builders arrived to continue working on the roof of the building only to find the road blocked off and their work place well ablaze.

The builders from IG Smedley and Son in Moston had been doing preparatory work on the roof in anticipation of the two storey part of the building being converted into flat.

They were devastated to see the buying alight as they realised they will most likely have lost all their tools and thousands of pounds worth of materials.

Firm owner Rick Smedley said: “We could not believe it when we turned up this morning all our tools are in there and we most likely have lost them now plus all the materials we were using.

“We are just waiting to be able to get inside the building to see if there is anything worth retrieving”

“Luckily we mostly have two of everything but it is still a bit ion a sickener”

Ashton Fire

Incident commander, Station Manger,  Val Hussein confirmed to the Tameside Reporter that there were “no occupants in the building and so he was happy to report “no injuries or fatalities” He also said: I am very happy that the shop manager did the right thing when on discovering the fire called us in to tackle it and stayed outside the premises rather than re-entering”

He added: “It was too early to suggest a cause for the outbreak of the fire”

Building safety inspectors from Tameside Council were also on site to determine the future of the building once it was safe to enter the building.

King’s Road remains closed while the building is stabilised meaning there is heavy traffic in the area.