UPDATE: Sniffer dogs search burnt-out flats after blaze

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Sniffer dogs from Greater Manchester were called to search burnt-out flats in North Shore following a fierce blaze there last night.

The search was precautionary, a fire service spokesman said, following concerns somebody may have been inside the Empress Drive building when the fire first broke out at around 11.15pm.

Dogs are to search the blackened shell

Dogs are to search the blackened shell

Firefighters had already conducted a search and considered it 'extremely unlikely' anybody was trapped inside, but because the fire was so destructive they had been unable to say for sure.

The dogs were called out at around 9.10am, and spent around an hour examining the charred shell, it is understood.

Shortly before noon, the fire service said the dogs had completed their search without finding anybody inside the building.

Read our initial report on the blaze here.