Firefighters have spent the last three hours trying to extinguish a blaze beneath a row of shops in Lytham St Annes
Eight crews from St Annes, Lytham, South Shore, Blackpool, Bispham and Preston are fighting a fire in a basement approximately 30m by 15m at the Barnados shop in St Annes which is a four storey high building.
The fire started just before 7pm tonight and the roads around St Annes Square have been cordoned off by police.
Group manager Jon Charters who is the tactical advisor explains: “while it is not a particularly large incident, fighting fires in basements is more difficult and dangerous than on a ground floor - you have to get through the heat and smoke to get down into it, space is restrictive with little exit routes and it can be harder to move equipment into where it is needed. The work is more arduous and for these reasons we have a lot of firefighters available so that we can rotate them more quickly and have extra crews available in the event of any difficulties arising. Staff wearing breathing apparatus are currently proactively fighting the fire with hose reels and jets.”
Police have cordons in place and people from nearby flats and a restaurant were evacuated due to smoke. The cause of the fire is not yet known but an investigation has commenced.