'Suspicious' HGV blaze in Blackburn linked to neighbouring skip fire

An HGV was set on fire in the yard of a carpet warehouse, just hours after a skip was torched outside a neighbouring business. Fire crews from Blackburn were called to the blaze on George Street West/Dixon Street at 12.20am on Monday. Initially, only one appliance was sent to the incident in the loading yard of Cavalier Carpets, but this was quickly increased to two, as the fire rapidly intensified.

Crews tackled the blaze, which Watch Manager Austin Foy said was in what looked like an old storage tanker containing rolls and rolls of carpet. WM Foy said: “The HGV was parked in the grounds of the yard, close to the loading bay. “The building was unoccupied at the time but the police were called after a member of the public alerted us to the fire.

“We had to break into the yard in order to gain access and a member of staff from Cavalier Carpets arrived around 6am to make the site secure. “We are unsure whether what was on fire was waste carpet, end of roll, or saleable stuff.” Firefighters from Blackburn’s White Watch were relieved at around 4am by a crew from Darwen, who remained at the incident until 6am.

WM Foy added: “Crews were there for around six hours, and the reason it took so long to resolve is because the fire protracted. “The carpets turned into a molten mess, which is like plastic, so we had to contain the water run off and put our environment protection equipment down to stop it from running into the drains and streams.” Just hours earlier, at around 8.30pm, the same crews were sent to a fire in a skip in the grounds of the Household Waste and Recycling Centre, located next door-but-one to Cavalier Carpets.

A spokesperson for the Household Waste and Recycling Centre said: “We get this quite a bit on this site; people come rooting through the skips and make a right mess. “And then last night they’ve been rifling through a skip full of electrical goods and have then torched it. “We think it’s the same people who set the lorry on fire at the carpet place.

“Most mornings we find that there’s stuff littered all over the yard. They probably climb over the fence or break through the locks. “It affects us as we then have to waste time cleaning it all up and then pay for new locks; it’s frustrating.”

WM Foy said: “It’s a bit of a coincidence that there were two fires in the same area and it is possible they’re related.

“Both incidents are being treated as suspicious and are now being investigated by the police.”

Anyone with information about the HGV fire should contact police on 101 quoting log reference 0046 of February 17. 

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