RUBBLE and metal came crashing to the ground when the front of a derelict shop collapsed in Burnley.
Luckily, the accident which could have been hazardous for anyone walking past, occurred at 1 a.m. on Thursday, but firefighters still called up the services of a specialist urban rescue team to check if anyone had been trapped.
The empty shop in Hollingreave Road, Burnley Wood, partly fell causing rubble and building materials to spill onto the street below.
Couple Stephen and Wendy Johnson, who live opposite the shop, were woken by the bang.
Stephen said: “I hard a large bang, but I didn’t realise until the morning what had happened. The shop has been empty for around five years now. It was a property to let office last and before that a television rental shop.
“It’s so fortunate that it didn’t collapse during the day when a child could have been playing there or walking past.
“It might be a blessing in disguise because something might get done about it now. It’s been an eyesore for too long.”
The shop is at the end of a row of houses, but the one immediately next door is unoccupied.
Watch manager Steve Harrison said: “Our first priority obviously was to check if anyone had been caught up in this or injured in any way.
“Three appliances attended as well as a specialist urban rescue team, but thankfully the officer in charge of that team decided they were not needed.
“Our job was to make it safe until a building control team from the council can clear it. We don’t know how it fell but probably general disrepair and a lack of maintenance over the years.”