Padiham hairdresser speaks of dramatic moment when major fire erupted

Share this article

The hairdresser, who rang 999 after a huge fire broke out in the premises next to her packed Padiham salon, has spoken of the dramatic moment when intense heat started to blow out windows of the building.

Jodie Forrest, a senior stylist at Vanilla salon, sprang into action after a member of the public ran into the shop in Burnley Road to say the building next door, Storm Art Gallery in Burnley Road, was on fire.

The flames take hold at the Storm Art Gallery in Padiham last night.

The flames take hold at the Storm Art Gallery in Padiham last night.

Jodie said: "I went outside and saw the flames through the windows of the building next door.

"I went back inside the salon and we could literally feel the heat coming through so we just started evacuating all the clients as safely and quickly as we could."

Jodie sprang into action when salon owner Vicky Holland went outside to move her car, which was parked right next to the gallery, and the intensity of the heat started to blow out the windows.

Jodie said: "I ran outside as cars were continuing to drive past.

Hairdressers Vicky Holland (back) and Jodie Forrest are back at work in the Vanilla hair salon today after last night's fire drama.

Hairdressers Vicky Holland (back) and Jodie Forrest are back at work in the Vanilla hair salon today after last night's fire drama.

"I was stood in the middle of the road waving my arms trying to get them to turn around as it wasn't safe for them to drive past as the windows were blowing out."

Jodie enlisted the help of a bystander who alerted traffic coming in from the direction of Burnley to turn around.

Fire crews and police were on the scene within minutes and the road was closed to traffic while five fire engines tackled the flames.

Jodie added: "Once the firefighters and police were on the scene they took over and did an amazing job."