A MASSIVE fire at a wood mill saw homes evacuated and up to 10 fire crews spend hours bringing the situation under control.

Some homes were evacuated and people were told to stay indoors close to Whitfire Shavings and Sawdust Supplies Ltd in Church Lane, Farington Moss, Leyland, amid fears of air contamination.

Four fire engines initially responded but 10 engines were later called out.

The inferno took hold of six buildings containing compressed sawdust.

At the fire’s height, around 90 firefighters were at the scene, along with police.

Speaking yesterday afternoon, during the incident, station manager and incident commander Barry Hornsby said: “Shortly after 9am we received a call of a commercial building fire.

“We quickly made the decision we needed more resources.

“We faced significant challenges with the smoke and the location being near a railway line and house so it could affect the local community.

“Eight or nine properties were evacuated as there were risks of asbestos in the air.

“The hazard for us was not being able to see what we were doing because of smoke.

“We were fortunate with the wind direction.

“There is about 40 crew left and a lot of the buildings are still well alight.

“We’ve got specialist investigations officers here now looking into the cause.

“At the moment it’s not safe to go in so I’m not going to speculate.”