THIS was the scene as bulldozers moved in to tear down an historic Blackpool club.
The Trades Club, on Chadwick Street, was gutted in a massive fire which ripped through both floors and destroyed the roof.
Eight fire engines were sent to tackle the blaze and around 60 residents evacuated from their homes as the fire raged.
Twenty-five houses on Kent Road, Chadwick Street and Erdington Road remain cordoned off amid fears the buildings are unsafe.
Blackpool Council has now instructed the building be demolished.
A spokesman said: “We have instructed the building to be demolished to a height where it doesn’t pose a safety risk to neighbouring properties.
“The building will be knocked down to the height of the first floor ceiling and the site made secure with fencing.
“At this point the owners of the building will have to decide what the future of the building is.”
Manager Barry Griezans said he would like to see the club rebuilt.
He said: “I have been down and had a look, it’s a bit of a shock seeing it like that.
“I don’t know what will happen next, it’s up to the insurance company and brewery.
“I would love them to rebuild it.”
Residents affected will not be able to return home until the demolition work is complete, which was expected sometime later today.
Locals today spoke of their shock to see the building torn down.
James Pilling, 87, of Chadwick Street, had been a member for 30 years.
He said: “I drank in there for years and it’s sad to see it come down.
“In its day it was very popular. We would all go down and meet there. I have a lot of good memories. I stopped going a few years ago when it changed into a private members club – but it is a sad day watching it being torn down.”
Neighbour, Deborah Walker, 46, said: “I used to go in all the time, when I saw the flames it was terrible.
“We weren’t evacuated but my house still smells of smoke, it was a real shock.
“I’ve lived here 10 years and the club has always been here.
“It will be a real change to the landscape.”
Anyone with bookings at the club should contact Mr Griezans via the Trades Club Facebook page.
He is hoping to honour all bookings by holding events at the adjacent Central Club.