Fire crews from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are assisting Lancashire colleagues with a major incident in Haslingden.
14 fire engines are currently tackling the blazes at J H Birtwistle Mill on Jubilee Road
A police spokesman confirmed Operation Merlin had been declared, this is an all emergency service plan which comes into effect during a major incident.
Lancashire Fire service confirmed that approximately 30 domestic properties have been evacuated as a precaution and have been given temporary accommodation.
An initial statement said: “At 12:31pm, fire crews were called to a commercial building on Jubilee Road in Haslingden.
On arrival crews found the fire involved a commercial mill building approximately 200m by 90m.
The fire was well developed and a further eleven fire engines were requested to assist with firefighting operations. There are currently 14 fire engines from Rawtenstall, Great Harwood, Bacup, Darwen and Fulwood, as well as seven fire engines from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, in attendance including an aerial ladder platform, high volume pump and stinger appliance. Firefighters are tackling the fire using eight jets and a ground monitor.”
Residents living close by are being advised to close their windows and doors as a precaution, due to large plumbs of smoke.
The fire service released a further update shortly after 4.30pm this afternoon saying, “Fire fighting operations are continuing using aerial support from both Manchester and Lancashire fire service.
The fire is now under control however there is like to be a number of fire engines at the scene for some time yet dampening down.
There are still road closures in effect so avoid the area if possible.
There are no casualties reported.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation however, there is currently no reason to believe that it is suspicious.”
Police are on scene assisting and have said road closures are in place.
In a statement, they said: “We are currently dealing with a large fire at the bottom of the Grane Road near the A56 and Grane Road is currently closed off. Avoid this area if you can and we will let you know as soon as we can re-open it. Please let others know to avoid it if they are likely to use the road.”
(Lead Image Credit: Lancashire Fire/Twitter)