IT was one of the largest mill fires East Lancashire had seen for many years with, at its height, 22 fire engines on scene trying to tackle the blaze.

More than 100 fire fighters from all over Lancashire were involved as Woodfield Mill - part of the historic Weavers’ Triangle in Burnley - was reduced to a smouldering skeleton in 2008

A wall of flame shot more than 100 feet into the night sky and could be seen for miles around. Thirty homes on the nearby Lisbon Drive estate were evacuated as a safety precaution and Trafalgar Street remained closed for nearly two days.

As well as the blaze itself, emergency crews also had to contend with the dangers posed by flames reaching a nearby gas main and a petrol station.

Burnley fire station watch manager Pete Ashworth said: “During the incident there was two major collapses at the front of the building as walls gave way.

“There was a gas main on fire and it was near to a petrol station which were all major concerns.

We don’t get many big mill fires any more but it certainly does not get much bigger than this.”

Two sides of the three-storey mill collapsed and crews remained on site for several days due to fears that the remaining parts of the building would come down.

When Woodfield Mill opened in 1889 it was the largest weaving shed in Burnley employing more than 400 cotton workers - due to its size it was dubbed ‘the giant mill’.

In later years, the mill had also been home to a foundry and engineering firm Lupton and Place had a diecasting operation at the site.

The bottom floor of the mill had been used for retail and storage by a decorating supplies firm.