FIRE crews have been working through the night to tackle a huge fire at an industrial unit in Westhoughton.

Fire fighters were called out to the blaze at the Westhoughton industrial estate in James Street just after 7.40pm yesterday.

At its height twelve fire engines from across Greater Manchester, with support from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, were on the scene fighting the flames.

The fire covered an area 70-by-80 metres and had spread from a car repair shop to storage units.

A huge plume of smoke could also be seen, but this has now reduced.

Three fire engines remain at the scene.

Businesses affected by the fire have taken to social media to keep their customers updated with one telling The Bolton News that they have yet to be told too much detail about the cause of the fire or the extent of the damage as the blaze continues.

A representative of BL5 Self Store described the fire as "devastating" as they discover more about the damage to their storage units.

They described that they have been inundated with calls from customers asking about their storage as fire crews continue to try and limit the damage caused by the blaze.

BL5 Self Store also pleaded with customers to stay away from the site saying: "I can’t stress enough. The building is not safe to enter. Please do not turn up and enter the building.

"I am working as hard as I can to make safe and then we will organise a staged entry. Everyone’s safety is a priority."

An adjacent business, MOT North West also said that they have limited information about the extent of the damage as the blaze continues.

They have been informing customers that they will remain closed until it is safe to reopen.

Station Manager, Bob Birtles, in charge at the incident, said: "I want to pay tribute to all the crews who’ve worked throughout the night to keep this fire under control. This was a challenging incident involving a range of single-storey industrial units, with the fire affecting an area measuring approximately 70 metres by 80 metres.

"Three fire engines remain at the scene this morning, damping down and preventing any further spread of the fire.

"Our firefighters have managed to save around 60 per cent of the building, but unfortunately the remainder has suffered severe damage, and we will be working with demolition and local authority building control to access and tackle the remaining pockets of fire.

The Bolton News:

"I want to thank colleagues from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for their support during the incident, and also Greater Manchester Police and North West Ambulance Service for their assistance managing the scene.

"I also want to thank everyone in the local area for their support and cooperation throughout the night, and I must ask that people continue to avoid the area while crews are at the scene."

Road closures have now been lifted in the area, but traffic management measures remain in place.

Residents have been advised to keep all windows and doors closed and stay away from the area while emergency services remain at the scene.

More to follow...