THE East Lancashire Railway, which had to close a section of track due to a scrapyard fire at Autosave, said it was "business as normal" over the weekend.

A short section of the heritage line was closed on the weekend of January 4 and 5.

The fire engulfed “a mountain” of crushed vehicles and mixed materials at Autosave, a scrapyard and vehicle recycling company located off Hurst Street.

At its height, the blaze spread across an area measuring approximately 30 square metres by 15 metres.

Fire investigators are currently treating the cause of the fire as accidental.

A spokesman for the East Lancs Railway said: "Following the fire in Pimhole Road that took place on January 2, the East Lancashire Railway decided to amend their timetable on the weekend of January 4 and 5.

"Part of the line is near to the location of the fire, and although the track was not damaged by this incident, the East Lancashire Railway made the decision to halt services to and from Heywood to support the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's efforts in tackling the situation.

"The heritage line is now open as per usual and all services will be running as normal this weekend."

Both the Environment Agency (EA) and Public Health England were contacted due to concerns about the pollution generated by the blaze.

The EA said it is continuing to work with partners to reduce the environmental impact of the incident.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “Last week Environment Agency attended a fire at a regulated permitted site in Bury with partners to identify and mitigate environmental impacts and give advice and guidance.

"The Environment Agency will continue to work with partners including Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the site owner to reduce environmental impact.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service thanked the Salvation Army for their support during the incident.

Volunteers from the charity provided refreshments for the emergency services personnel onsite for the full 24 hours of the first day and during the day of the two days after via its emergency response vehicle.

Major Nigel Tansley, Emergency Services Co-ordinator for the Salvation Army Central North Division, said: “Our emergency response team and vehicle was on site during the fire for the first 24 hours offering support to the emergency services, providing constant food and refreshments to more than 100 professionals from the fire brigade, police, environment agency and many others during what were really terrible conditions so that they could focus on the job at hand.

“Our team covers three counties; Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire with four different vehicles offering practical and emotional support to the emergency services in their time of need, serving people of the local community as we say ‘heart to God, hand to man’.

“Our team includes many volunteers that work shifts to support the needs of the emergency services at incidences like this and so a heartfelt thank you goes out to them all. If we can provide something that will make jobs easier and support people in difficult situations then we will do it, happily.”