Investigations continue into Barrow house blaze

Rear of house fire at Whalley Road, Barrow, opposite Clitheroe Golf Club, on March 3rd 2015
Rear of house fire at Whalley Road, Barrow, opposite Clitheroe Golf Club, on March 3rd 2015

Investigations are ongoing into the cause of a fierce house blaze at Barrow which claimed the life of an 84-year-old woman.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said that investigations were continuing and that the process of investigating such a severe house fire was not an “overnight thing”.

Barrow resident Mrs Nellie Shaw died in the blaze which totally gutted her home, Barrow Gardens Farm, off Whalley Road, Barrow,

Her husband, Philip, also in his 80s, escaped the burning property and was treated for the effects of inhaling smoke.

Emergency crews were called to the property – opposite the entrance to Clitheroe Golf Club – around 5-20 am on Tuesday.

When firefighters arrived the two-storey detached farmhouse was well alight, but it is understood Mr Shaw was outside being cared for by a passer-by.

Fire crews from Clitheroe, Hyndburn, Padiham and Great Harwood attended the scene and took almost three hours to control and fully extinguish the fire, which left the property gutted and with holes in the roof and threatened to engulf an adjoining barn.

Specialist search teams then faced the grim task of going through the still smouldering building, aware that Mrs Shaw was unaccounted for. At 11-30 am police announced her body had been recovered from the burnt out property.

John Taylor from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service explained: “There is a process for investigating a severe fire such as this with investigators looking for any clues from the building itself and conducting interviews with anyone who might have any idea or seen or heard something, not least the gentleman himself who survived.

“It is not an overnight thing and is something that cannot be determined at the outset how long it will take or how it will progress.”