A BOLTON scrap yard which achieved national fame on television has suffered significant damage after a fire engulfed industrial machinery and vehicles in the yard.

Firefighters spent more than five hours at Scrappers on Waterloo Street battling back flames during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A crane was destroyed in the inferno which began in a small pile of scrap in the yard and also spread to engulf around 15 cars.

The owner of the business is Terry Walker, who became a reality television star when the BBC followed the ups and downs of the business in two highly popular documentary series.

Mr Walker is on holiday and unavailable for comment, but a spokesman for the company said: “A Royal Mail worker happened to be driving past just after midnight. He saw a fire and alerted firefighters.”

He added: “The fire crews arrived within ten minutes and, after damping down measures left at around 5.30am.”

He said a crane was destroyed in the fire but apart from a pile of scrap, the yard escaped what could have been devastating damage.

The spokesman added: “We were able to open as usual on Wednesday.”

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "At 12.26am three fire engines from Farnworth and Agecroft were called to a fire involving machine and approximately 15 cars.

"They were in attendance for five ours and used four jets and a ladder to extinguish the flames."