A HUGE fire has broken out at an industrial estate just off Tottington Road in Elton, Bury.

Three fire crews are at the scene attempting to control the blaze at the Woolfold Industrial Estate – and stop it spreading to a nearby metalworks firm at the site, just off Alston Road and Mitchell Street.

The fire broke out at about 8.30pm and was well alight by 9pm.

There are not believed to be any injuries and nobody is thought to have been in the industrial estate when the blaze started.

Nearby residents gathered outside Elton Primary School, with some taking pictures and video footage of firefighters tackling the fire, while residents of Mitchell Street were evacuated from their homes for their safety.

Kathryn Pitchforth, aged 20, was at her auntie's house in Mitchell Street when she saw the fire.

She said: "We were all sat in the living room and suddenly there was just this big glow coming from outside.

"It escalated really quickly - it was like a massive bonfire. We were all evacuated. 

"I don't know if anyone was in the factory at the time but I heard a man running out of the industrial estate shout 'there's been a fire'.

"It's a huge fire, but I'm thankful it wasn't worse."

Cath Thorley, of David Street, just a few yards away from the fire, opposite the industrial estate, rang the fire brigade at about 9pm when she saw the flames outside.

Ms Thorley, aged 41, said: "I looked out my window and saw this massive fire. I don't think there was an explosion, but it developed really quickly.

"There's a gas bottle centre behind the building that caught fire.

"At least the school hasn't been damaged and people are safe."

Another onlooker, Tom Mort, aged 18, from Bury, said: "I first saw the fire at 9pm and got here about 15 minutes later. The fire started on the roof of the factory on the far right of the industrial estate. 

"It's a big relief this fire didn't spread because there's a big block of houses behind the estate."

One onlooker said: “I think it is a storage warehouse. A lot of people’s possessions have just gone up in flames.

“It looks like firefighters are trying to stop it spreading.”

A spokesman for the fire service said: “We don’t know how the fire started as of yet.

“There are six fire engines and two aerial appliances at the scene.

“There is nothing to suggest that anyone has been injured and no one was reported to be in the factory.

“Firefighters will be there all through the night.

“After the fire has been put out we will do a damping down to make sure any hotspots don’t reignite.”

It is understood the fire has affected a series of businesses on the estate, including a garage and an engineering works.

Bury Times:

A firefighter tackles the blaze from an aerial platform. Picture by Justin Moses.

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