Clitheroe man arrested after house fire

The day after the house explosion at Clayton-le-Moors. (s)
The day after the house explosion at Clayton-le-Moors. (s)

A fire and explosion at a house in Clayton-le-Moors has led to the arrest of two men on suspicion of arson, one of them from Clitheroe.

Around 30 firefighters were called to the fire in Cumberland Avenue in the early hours of Tuesday, shortly after 2 am. By then the fire had already spread to the adjoining next door property via the roof space.

Fire crews under the supervision of the specialist Urban Search and Rescue Team, based at Chorley, carried out a controlled collapse of the side wall to make the building safe. Four pumps were used to tackle the blaze.

Initial fears were that there had been a gas explosion and firefighters had to reassue neighbouring residents that they were not in danger.

Fortunately no-one had been in the house at the time of the fire, but the next door neighbours had to be evacuated due to the intense heat.

Investigations resulting from the fire have led to the arrest of two men on suspicioun of arson, a 20-year-old from Clitheroe and a 24-year-old from Accrington. They were later released on bail until June.

A police spokesman said investigations into the cause of the fire were ongoing, but it appeared to have been started deliberately. He added that it was “sheer luck” that no-one – including firefighers called to tackle the blaze – was injured or killed.