DEMOLITION is already underway on a building gutted by fire yesterday morning.

The former Great Lever Library in Bradford Road was ravaged by fire in the early hours of Monday morning, causing extensive damage.

Demolition workers arrived at 3am while the fire was still burning as damage to the roof made the building unsafe to enter.

Less than 24 hours after the fire was extinguished, the Council hired a contractor to begin demolition work on the building.

WATCH: Inside the burnt out Great Lever Library

The roof will be completely removed today to allow fire investigators and other agencies to enter the building safely.

The timber and steel bell tower was removed yesterday afternoon but the structure no longer contained a bell.

Demolition work was put on hold due to a lack of daylight but will continue today with the use of a mobile crane.

Bolton Council approved a £600,000 refurbishment of the building last year, as part of the Great Lever Connected Programme, but plans hadn't been finalised.

These plans will now be reconsidered after the fire completely gutted the historic building.

Fire safety officers said damage to the roof and iconic bell tower is so severe that the building will likely be demolished.

A council spokesman said: “The building sustained severe fire damage to the roof - we are working closely with the fire service, and a contractor has started demolishing the damaged section of the roof to make it safe.

“We had previously been looking at transforming the building into a community centre and will now review all the options for the building, once we’ve undertaken a full structural survey.”