PHOTOS: Blaze at Burnley town centre shop

BUSINESS owners say they have been left devastated after ripped through the roof space of three Burnley shops.

Firefighters spent four hours at the scene, in Bull Street, in the town centre, after the blaze started around 11pm on Sunday. They were initially called to reports of smoke coming from the terraced row, which includes barbers Jazz Man Grooves, Alfie’s Butty Shop and Holt and Longworth Solicitors. But when crews arrived on the scene they found flames shooting from the roof.

Fire damaged shops on Bull Street in Bunrley.'Photo Ben Parsons

Fire damaged shops on Bull Street in Bunrley.'Photo Ben Parsons

Mr Paul Johnson (40), who owns Alfie’s Butty Shop, said part of the roof of his business had collapsed. It’s a mess, the roof fell in. The fire brigade had to break down the door and it’s really badly smoke damaged.”

Mr Johnson was woken at 1am yesterday (Monday) by his step-daughter’s boyfriend who had been told about the fire.

“I came down straight away and the street was full of firefighters and police. It’s devastating, this is my livelihood.”

Mr Johnson said the shop itself is covered with black soot and is heavily smoke damaged.

“The clean-up of the shop is going to take a couple of days and we need a new door because the fire brigade had to break it down. I’m insured so I need to speak to the insurance company,” he said.

Yesterday all three businesses were boarded up and fire investigators were at the scene in a bid to establish the cause of the blaze, though fire bosses said early indications showed it was accidental. Crew manager Alan Ashworth from Burnley fire station said: “Four pumps attended and we had to use the aerial ladder platform, hose reels and breathing apparatus.

“It was very difficult to gain access to it because of where it was. There was quite a bit of damage, especially to the roof.”