A fire which ripped through five buildings on an industrial estate outside Preston has been contained by fire fighters.
60 firefighters are still on the scene at Centurion Way, Leyland, after being called to the blaze at 5pm yesterday evening.
The fire which started at a building which was storing tissue paper spread quickly and the flames could be seen from Preston, Bamber Bridge and Lostock Hall.
The West Coast Main Line was shut for the evening causing widespread disruption between Wigan North Western and Preston and routes from Manchester to Preston.
Social networking sites were full of photos and messages about the fire, including false rumours that two firefighters were killed in the blaze.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service: “”For their own safety, firefighters withdrew from the scene and began tackling the fire from a distance. The fire quickly spread to an adjacent property which contained chemicals. Once the chemicals were engulfed in the fire, the firefighters made a decision to evacuate residents from 20 homes in the local area.
“A technical support team quickly established that the chemical was not harmful to humans, however, the advice for local residents remains the same because of the smoke; stay inside and keep your windows and doors shut.
“Four or five properties have been destroyed in the fire which has now been contained. At the height of the incident, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service had over 100 firefighters along with twenty fire engines, two aerial ladder platforms, a high volume pump and a mobile fire station at the scene.
“At this moment in time, the Fire Service does not know how the fire started. Once the fire has been completely extinguished and the scene has been declared safe, the investigation will begin.
“Contrary to some reports on websites and social networking sites, no firefighters have died at this incident.”
Centurion Way and Wheelton Lane are still closed to traffic this morning.
View a YouTube playlist below of videos of the fire
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