EVACUATED residents were able to return to their homes last night, almost 10 hours after a huge fire in Haslingden.

Just after 12.30pm yesterday, fire crews were called to J H Birtwistle Mill on Jubilee Road in Haslingden.

On arrival crews found the fire involved a commercial mill building approximately 200m by 90m.

At its height there were 14 fire engines from Rawtenstall, Great Harwood, Bacup, Darwen and Fulwood as well as seven fire engines from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, attending the scene.

Firefighters are tackling the fire using eight jets and a ground monitor.

Thick large plumes of smoke could be seen in the sky and local residents living nearby were told to close their windows and doors as a precaution.

Roads were also closed off as the fire crews tried to put the fire out.

At 10.15pm, the fire service published an update saying that it was safe for people to return to their homes if they were evacuated.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire Service said: "Residents evacuated due to the mill fire can now safely return to their homes. LFRS still have a presence at the scene but the incident is no longer a significant hazard."