AN EYEWITNESS has spoken of the shocking moment she discovered a raging fire which severely damaged a former care home in Radcliffe.

Louise Shine, from Redvales, had been heading to work in Stand Lane when she noticed the growing inferno.

She said: "When I got down towards it, even though it was at the back of the building, you could see it was lighting up the sky.

"There was loads of smoke and as I pulled up and realise it was on fire I immediately rang the fire brigade and the number on the barrier around the building.

"It was not what I expected to see on my way into work and I have never seen anything like this before.

"When I came back past later on my way home you could really see the scale of the fire and the destruction."

The blaze broke out at the detached Edwardian-style property in Bury Road, shortly before 4.40am this morning.

Flames tore through the roof of the historic building which is currently undergoing renovation work to be converted for domestic use.

At its height, four fire engines, two aerial platforms and dozens of firefighters battled to beat back the fire.

Fortunately, no one was in the property when the fire started.

Firefighters and police remained on the scene for much of today extinguishing any hot spots and making sure the fire was completely out and that the building is safe.

Rick Taylor, watch manager at Bury Fire Station, said: "When we got there the fire was well alight with the roof and first floor on fire.

"There had been a partial collapse of the roof meaning it was unsafe to send in firefighters, so we had to strip the roof back to access the fire and tackle it from the outside and above.

"The fire has done a lot of damage. The roof is probably 100 per cent damaged and there is also a lot of water damage."

Fire crews believe the fire may have started inside the building and spread to the roof, and a fire investigation is currently underway.