DEMOLITION work on Maple Mill in Oldham “could take up to three days” as firefighters continue to tackle the blaze that began in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The fire, which began at 4am yesterday morning, has been burning for nearly 35 hours and has caused around 100 homes to be evacuated.
Firefighters are beginning to clear some of the burnt out building so they can reach the smaller fires.
— Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (@manchesterfire) December 16, 2016
It was feared on Thursday evening that there may have been people sleeping rough inside the mill, although this remains unconfirmed until the crews can enter the building.
Local residents have been moved to the nearby Honeywell Centre since yesterday morning, and it is still unclear as to when they will be allowed to return to their houses.
A warning remains in place for locals to keep their windows and doors closed due to high smoke levels, and Oldham Fire have released a health message for nearby residents.
Maple mill still ongoing, health message for the community pic.twitter.com/bt5rVOelpQ
— Oldham Fire Team (@oldhamfireteam) December 16, 2016
Fifty firefighters still at the scene of the major fire at Maple Mill in Oldham and thick smoke still engulfing the building pic.twitter.com/ovQWWrNVSz
— Michelle Adamson (@michellea951) December 16, 2016
Group Manager Jon Aspinall, currently in charge of the incident, said: “Firefighters continue to work hard tackling the fire and our priority is getting people back into their homes as soon as we can.
“Later into the demolition process we will know more about the structure of the building and about timescales for residents to return home.”
United Utilites are have confirmed that the water issues in the OL4 and the OL8 area of Oldham are because of the amount of water required by the fire service to cope with the fire.
A spokesperson for the water company said: “Many thanks to our customers in parts of Oldham for their patience and understanding, as we continue to assist the fire service in tackling a large blaze at Maple Hill, Cardwell Street.
“While this operation continues, you may experience low supplies or fluctuating water pressure. We are doing everything we can to improve your supplies in the mean-time, thank you for bearing with us.”
Cardwell Street remains closed today in both directions between Urmston Street and Groby Street until the incident is resolved.
The Maple Mill warehouse, on Cardwell Street, had seen 85 attendants from Manchester Fire and Rescue at the scene on Thursday.