BLACKPOOL’S Golden Mile was closed as workers fled a fire at a seafront arcade.
More than 30 firefighters were drafted in after a blaze broke out at Grab City.
The central promenade arcade – which was destroyed eight years ago in a devastating arson attack – was evacuated as plumes of thick smoke billowed from its roof.
The Promenade was closed to traffic between Chapel Street and New Bonny Street as firefighters from South Shore, Fleetwood, Blackpool, Annes and Bispham tackled the blaze.
Workmen in the building discovered the fire just after 3pm yesterday.
Fire brigade station manager Graham Knowles said the blaze started in a storage area at the rear of the building which housed electrical supplies and arcade machinery.
Although it was contained to an area of around five metres, the tight layout of the building meant the smoke spread quickly.
He said: “The arcade is being refurbished ready for the summer season and it appears there has been a fire in a bin compound storage area.
“Workmen tried to put out the flames using fire extinguishers but it became too dangerous for them to manage and they escaped the building.
“Two fire engines, initially from South Shore and Blackpool, arrived but when they saw the smoke and realised it was Grab City they called for four more pumps as a precautionary measure.
“Smoke filled the whole building.
“There is damage to the amusements being stored in the arcade, but I couldn’t put a finger on costs at the moment.”
The Prom was closed for around three hours while firefighters dealt with the fire.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus used jet hoses, thermal imaging cameras and ventilation units to tackle the blaze.
No one was injured.
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