Emergency services flooded with calls after black smoke billows above Burnley town centre

Fire crews raced to the scene of a blaze this evening after dozens of 999 callers reported sightings of thick, black smoke.
Fire crews raced to the scene of a blaze this evening after dozens of 999 callers reported sightings of thick, black smoke.

Emergency services were inundated with 999 calls after thick, black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky in Burnley centre this evening.

One engine from Burnley was sent to Plumbe Street, where the initial calls said the smoke was coming from, and a second was despatched after dozens more 999 calls came in just before 8pm with several callers worried a building in the area could have been set alight.

A search of the area discovered plastic fencing, at the top of a path leading from Yorkshire Street to the canal, had been set alight.

A spokesman for Burnley Fire Station said: "Due to the high volume of calls reporting there was a building in the area on fire we sent two fire engines to the scene.

"The thick black smoke was caused by the nature of the materials on fire."

Firefighters spent 20 minutes at the scene extinguishing the blaze with a hosereel jet and wearing breathing apparatus.

Police were also called out as the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

An investigation has now been launched into the cause of the fire,