MORE than 40 firefighters are tackling a large fire at a block of luxury apartments in Kearsley.

Smoke was seen pouring from the roof of the St Vincent’s housing development in Manchester Road at about 9.30 this morning.

Residents and worshippers attending church services nearby alerted the fire brigade when they noticed fumes sweeping across the top floor and roof of the block of 12 flats, which are are still being completed.

Within minutes, seven fire engines arrived on the scene, including crews from Bolton, Farnworth, Broughton and Atherton.

Police blocked off Manchester Road directly outside the building for about 250 yards, from midday until about 2pm while firefighters made the property safe.

Residents were told to move their cars from sides streets surrounding the development to allow fire crews access to the roof of the building and Sandhole Road was closed.

A multi-agency investigation is now underway to establish the cause of the fire.