A criminal investigation is underway after a body was found yesterday in a restaurant that caught fire last week in Bolton.

Police and emergency services were called to Bolton Road in Farnworth after a fire was reported on November 27 at Lime Tree Restaurant.

The blaze had broken out in the afternoon with five fire engines mobilised including specialist units.

Bolton Road was closed off throughout the afternoon between its junction near St Peter's Way and Gladstone Road.

Since then, police have entered the building to ensure safety and believe the first floor where the fire started may have been used as a cannabis farm. 

The Bolton News: The scene

A spokesman for police said: “A criminal investigation is underway after a body was found yesterday (2/12/23) in a premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth, Bolton following a fire.

“Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service had been called to reports of the fire at approximately 1pm on 27/11/23.

“Since then, efforts had been ongoing to make the building safe and ascertain the cause.

“Enquiries remain ongoing however it is believed that the fire originated on the first floor of the building which early indications suggest may have been used as a cannabis farm.

“Police are appealing for information. Please call 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023.”

The fire spread from the restaurant towards the roof of an adjoining house.

One firefighter could be seen standing in the skylight of the house and at least eight fire engines were at the scene.

By around 3.30pm, the fire appeared to have been brought under control, with a lot of tiles having been removed from the roof of the restaurant.

A police officer on scene confirmed they were there to support the fire service, and paramedics were also present.