MORE than 50 firefighters battled 'dangerous conditions' to bring a fire under control at a luxury car garage - in a suspected arson attack thought to have caused £3 million of damage. 

The huge blaze broke out in a Porsche repair garage in Lazarette Way, off Waters Meeting Road, at around 10.50pm last night in what police are calling a 'deliberate' and 'planned' act. 

The Bolton News:

Two men were seen entering the building shortly before the fire broke out and it is believed they broke through a back door and started the fires throughout the garage.

Two Porsches have been completely destroyed and several others have suffered damage. 

DCI Chris Bridge of GMP’s Bolton borough, said: “This was a deliberate act that caused extensive damage to both the building and the high value cars inside.

“It is clear that this was a planned act and our investigation will explore why someone chose to do this.

“I am just grateful that no-one was injured as a result of this reckless behaviour.

“We are following several lines of enquiry and are currently trawling through local CCTV footage to try to ascertain the exact circumstances surrounding the fire.

“If you saw someone acting suspiciously in the area or have any information that could help our investigation, then please call us.”

Fire crews were confronted with acrid, black, smoke billowing from inside the unit when the got to the scene. 

Watch manager Ian Read, said: "There were such dangerous conditions inside the building for the firefighters because it's thick, black, acrid smoke, right to the floor and you can't see your hand in front of your face."

The crews used a mixture of ventilation fans and high pressure water lances, designed to pierce walls, to tackle the fire from the outside and work their way through the fire.

It took them around an hour to get the fire under control but crew remained onsite to ensure the area was safe.

The repair garage is owned by Porsche Bolton, based in Manchester Road and centre principal, Steve Webb said: "I don't know the extent of the damage, because it's suspected arson no one is allowed anywhere near."

Mr Read estimated more than £3 million of damage was caused as a result of the fire due to the value of the sports cars inside. It is thought about 20 vehicles were in the garage and no cars appear to have been stolen.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the centre said no one was hurt in the incident and any customers affected would be contacted as soon as possible.

It added: "At this time we do not know the extent of the damage caused and we are working with the fire investigation officers and police force to investigate further.

"We’d like to thank the fire service for their speedy response last night and hard work to get the fire under control quickly."

The fire service and police force are working together to establish who set the fire.

Group Manager Ben Levy, who took charge of the incident, said: “When the first fire engine arrived at the scene, it was clear that it was a significantly developed fire.

“Firefighters worked in very poor conditions with excessive black smoke, but quickly got the incident under control.

“Firefighters have done an amazing job – and no doubt will continue to do a great job through the night. This incident comes off the back of a busy bonfire weekend for Blue Watch, who are on their second night on call. Their relentless and committed professionalism is never clearer than at an incident like this, after the most demanding of weekends.”

Firefighters will remain at the scene through Tuesday and will help to minimise the impact on the local area. Anyone living near the industrial site are encouraged to keep windows and doors closed.

Police are appealing for information about the fire and are asking those with information to call them on 101 quoting reference number 2519 of 06/11/17 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.