A BLAZE ripped through a warehouse forcing the closure of a nearby primary school.

More than 35 firefighters tackled the blaze at the mill off Gilnow Road, Deane.

Crews managed to save 90 per cent of the mill but part of a warehouse on the site was destroyed.

The fire started at Valley Recycling shortly before 5am yesterday and between 10 and 15 tonnes of carpet were well alight when firefighters arrived Tony Bryan, the fire service’s incident manager, said: “The fire was in the left hand side of the building on the ground floor.

“I want to pay tribute to the crews who did an excellent job for getting a hold on the fire very quickly. Usually when a fires take hold of mills it’s a really big problem.”

Firefighters were at the scene all yesterday damping down.

Gilnow Primary School was closed for safety reasons after debris from the fire landed in the playground.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “The headteacher, on advice from the fire service, took the decision to close the school as fragments and debris were blowing into the playground.

“Parents were alerted to the closure by text and staff monitored the routes into school to catch any pupils and their parents en route.”

Headteacher Jo Riley said: “The safety of our pupils is paramount at Gilnow Primary and the school will remain closed until we have been given the all clear.”

Staff from Valley Recycling, which specialises in synthetic fibre recovery by stripping yarn and filament from cones and bobbins, were kept away from the fire-damaged premises yesterday.

Kate Sayers, aged 50, who lives in Gilnow Road and saw the fire, said: “It was absolutely massive and so loud. It was pretty scary.

“I rang the fire service and they said they were getting lots of calls coming in.”

Another Gilnow Road resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I was in bed and I heard what sounded like explosions.

“I got up and I saw a massive fire at the mill.”

The fire service advised businesses to review their emergency systems after they struggled to get in contact with various bosses of firms based in the mill.