Burnley fire crews give community support after shop blaze

HELPING HAND: Burnley firefighters Keith Stockwell, Andrew Birtwistle, Alan Butterworth and crew manager Anthony Harrison at the community initiative day at the scene of the fire at the Spar shop in Padiham Road.
HELPING HAND: Burnley firefighters Keith Stockwell, Andrew Birtwistle, Alan Butterworth and crew manager Anthony Harrison at the community initiative day at the scene of the fire at the Spar shop in Padiham Road.

BURNLEY fire crews have been lending a helping hand to the community following the devastating blaze which gutted a Burnley Spar shop.

The crew which attended the fire at the Padiham Road shop on Sunday, January 6th, revisited the scene at the weekend to offer reassurance to those living in the area.

Around £1m. worth of damage was caused to the shop, which was completely destroyed, and Mr Steve Morgan, Burnley Fire Station manager, said that it was important that people felt safe.

“We realise that the shop was a real community hub. I came down on the day after the fire and there were lots of people walking there and quite a few parking up, especially older people. And a lot of them were saying ‘well, what do we do now?’ So I thought it would be a good idea if along with Help Direct we came back down and did some community reassurance. It was a good way to show the other side of the fire service.”

Firefighters handed out Keep Safe and Warm packs to visitors, visited homes in the area and offered advice regarding free home fire safety checks.

“We were actually given a load of knitted hats and scarves from the Women’s Institute so we included them in the packs. They also included things like blankets, mugs and torches,” said Mr Morgan. “Coming back to the site and engaging with the community is our way of showing that we do understand what they are going through and that we do want to help in any way that we can.”

Anybody wanting a free home fire safety check can book one by ringing 0800 169 1125.

• Ben Young (19), of Thorn Street, Burnley, has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life. He was remanded in custody to appear at Burnley Crown Court on Monday, January 28th.