DOZENS of firefighters were brought in to tackle a major fire at a recycling centre in Raikes Lane.

Fire crews were called to the Viridor warehouse at 4.50pm where three floors were alight, sending plumes of thick smoke and flames into the sky.

The blaze could be seen for miles around and eight fire engines were on the scene with 40 firefighters deployed to tackle the flames.

REVEALED: Cause of major fire at waste plant in Raikes Lane

Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control in just over an hour, leaving one crew to dampen down the building to prevent reignition.

Fire investigators are expected to begin examining the scene today to try and identify the cause of the fire.

Video courtesy Nathan MCR Live via Manchester 360 YouTube channel 

Lyli Bury and Gareth Quinn were taking a Sunday afternoon walk in Leverhulme Park when they saw smoke bellowing in the distance.

Ms Bury, aged 28, said: “We went for a walk at about 4pm. It was quite a nice evening and the sun was out but there were still a few clouds in the sky.

“Ahead we saw what looked like more clouds, but after looking closely it was obvious that is was smoke.

“Being the curious pair that we are, we decided to follow it and it led us here. It took us about an hour to walk here.

Mr Quinn, aged 27, who lives in Leigh but was visiting Ms Bury, said: “The flames were fairly high but it didn’t take firefighters long to get them under control.”

Stephen Walker, from Little Lever, heard about the fire on social media and decided to check it out for himself.

He said: “From the pictures it looked like a bad one so I thought I would head down and see what was happening.

“Someone told me that the roof had caved in soon after the fire had started. With it being a recycling plant it could have been a lot worse if it had spread further.

“When I arrived there were lots of fire engines on standby whilst fireman on high cranes were working on the fire.

“After the worst of it was under control, most fire engines were then stood down.

“I’m not sure if people were working in there today so I just hope that nobody was hurt if they were.”

A spokesman for Viridor said: “Viridor staff at the Bolton Thermal Recovery Facility at Raikes Lane discovered a fire at the site at approximately 4.30pm today and alerted the fire service.

“Emergency procedures at the plant, which is manned 24 hours a day seven days a week, were implemented and the fire was extinguished two hours later. No one was injured.

“The Environment Agency has been notified, the cause of the fire will be investigated and the extent of the damage will be assessed. The fire did not affect the recycling centre at Hurstwood Court.”