A FIRE which ripped through a row of shops in Westhoughton was caused accidentally, an investigation has found.

Now talks are under way to try to find alternative accommodation for the affected businesses in School Street.

Although the exact cause of the fire is unknown, fire chiefs have ruled it was not suspicious.

A spokesman said: “The fire began accidentally in the roof space of the one of the shops.”

He added that the building was too dangerous to go back into to establish the exact cause of the blaze.

More than 20 firefighters tackled the blaze on Sunday just before 10pm.

The roof was destroyed by the blaze and businesses suffered water damage as firefighters battled to save the shops and fittings inside.

The building was not structurally damaged.

Cllr Kevan Jones, Westhoughton’s mayor, is working to find the businesses temporary accommodation.

He said: “I am working with them and the landlords to see if we can find accommodation until the building is repaired.

“This could be through approaching landlords of empty shops and asking whether they can provide temporary contracts for the businesses, or get them a stall on Westhoughton Market.