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Crews demolish fire-damaged site

Fire crews were forced to pull down part of the structure at the former Pitstop shop in Bloomfield Road on Friday.

Fire crews were forced to pull down part of the structure at the former Pitstop shop in Bloomfield Road on Friday.

Firefighters were forced to pull down part of a fire-damaged property as gale force winds battered the Fylde coast.

Just hours after part of the roof at Whitworth Chemist in Bloomfield Road was blown off on Friday – as reported in The Gazette – fire crews were called to the former Pitstop car parts shop on the same street after concerns the structure was unstable in high winds.

The building had been gutted by a major fire on October 10, which led to 25 residents having to be evacuated from nearby homes. No-one was seriously injured in the blaze.

Lara Kenny, who was visiting her family home in Great Marton, said she was concerned about the safety of the building as winds crept up to 80mph.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Victoria, London, added: “I had spotted the shop earlier in the day and was worried about the wind damage – all it had covering it was a metal fence.

“The wind was so strong – it was wild.

“As the day went on we drove past again and noticed firefighters were there. They started to demolish the structure and looked to make it safe.

“I think they were worrying about the debris flying about.”

Using a cherry-picker, firefighters began removing loose parts from the former shop, which was left “decimated” by the blaze earlier this year.

Police believe the fire in October was started after a fire spread from a pile of tyres at the back of the premises.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue added: “After the incident at Whitworth Chemist we went down to the Pitstop site and made the decision to remove loose debris.

“We wanted to make sure the area was safe for pedestrians.”

A spokesman for the Met Office said weather said more strong winds are expected on the Fylde coast today.

He added: “Strong winds and heavy rain is expected to continue today until late morning, with gusts of 40mph to 50mph.

“The weather will then clear and be followed by scattered showers, continuing until New Year’s Eve.”

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