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Six people escape from huge Openshaw factory blaze… now Investigation begins.
Monday 20th February 2017 @ 16:35 by Nigel P.
Community Gorton & Openshaw News


One view of the blaze at the industrial unit on Louisa Street from the Ferris Street at the rear of the mixed usage building which housed offices and mechanics


A joint Fire Service and Police investigation has been launched, after six people had a lucky escape following their rescue from a ferocious fire that spread across business units in Openshaw, in the early hours of Sunday morning (19/2/17).

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene at 12.25am and immediately mobilised more than 60 fire fighters in ten fire engines and two aerial platform vehicles to tackle the blaze.

Eight fire engines, about 40 firefighters and an aerial platform vehicle remained at the scene, as well as specialist officers and vehicles, once the blaze was bought under control.

Fire crews initially reported that five people were led to safety by fire-fighters as fire engulfed at least three units.

A sixth man miraculously walked out of the building some hours after the initial rescue and appeared to be unhurt despite being inside the intense fire.

Fire-fighters use cutting gear to  enter the blazing building in search of people trapped inside.

All six people were handed over into the care of paramedics from North West Ambulance Service, who also attended the scene.

Specialist officers from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are now working with Greater Manchester Police to find out how the fire in the  commercial premises off Louisa Street, Openshaw, began. No cause has been established at this early stage of the investigation.

Incident Commander Carlos Meakin said: “We were called to the fire just after midnight and the first crew arrived and immediately called for more firefighters to be mobilised to the scene.

“Ten fire engines and two aerial platform vehicles raced to the scene and more than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze. Five people were led to safety from one of the units. A sixth man came out of the building later this morning.”

Huge amounts of smoke have covered the area throughout the day and firefighters in breathing apparatus are putting water onto the fire from above and the ground in a bid to put it out and ensure any hotspots are tackled within the building.

Residents living in the row of terraced houses on Louisa Street immediately facing the 100 metre long building were advised to keep their windows closed throughout the day as the remaining fire crews continued to pour water on the embers in a bid to completely eradicate the fire and suppress the smoke.