Devastation as blaze tears through shop

Fire at Jimmy White fencing manufacturer, Butts Close, Thornton
Fire at Jimmy White fencing manufacturer, Butts Close, Thornton

A major blaze broke out on an industrial estate and ripped through a workshop.

An entire workshop burned down at Jimmy White Fencing Manufacturer, on Butts Close, Thornton, when the fire tore through the premises at 3.20pm on Saturday, destroying machinery and tools.

Smoke could be seen for miles around as the fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault or burning embers left in a skip, took hold.

At its height, four fire crews, one each from Bispham and Fleetwood, and two from Blackpool, were called to the scene and battled the blaze for 90 minutes before bringing it under control.

Mr White, 52, runs the 30-year-old family business with his father and son, and said the 10m by 15m workshop he uses to store wood had been completely destroyed, along with a fork lift truck.

He said: “I’m totally in shock.

“I locked up at 3pm and everything was fine, then I got a phone call at 3.45pm saying the workshop was on fire.

“The whole workshop has been destroyed.

“I can still run my business but the main bit is gone.”

Alistair McLean, watch manager at Fleetwood Fire Station, said the exact cause of the fire is still being examined.

He added: “The investigation is leaning towards an electrical fault or a skip that was burning during the day.

“It’s possible some embers from that have drifted into the workshop.

“We could see black smoke coming from the top end of Fleetwood.

“The owner wasn’t on site when the fire developed.

“We had numerous phone calls about it and when we got here it was very well developed.

“There’s minimal damage to the exterior of the building next door, but we managed to extinguish the fire in the workshop.

“That took about an hour and a half because the workshop had collapsed in on itself and made fighting it a lot more difficult.”