Contact Us

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service


146 Bolton Road

Swinton, Manchester

M27 8US

Tel: 0161 736 5866

For a FREE Safe and Well visit please call:

0800 555 815

Derelict mill fire - Littleborough

Borough: Rochdale

Incident Date: 24 March 2018

1:30pm update (Monday, March 26, 2018): 

A GMFRS presence will remain onsite at Proofings Mill to work alongside the demolition company and extinguish any remaining hotspots, particularly as they begin turning over rubble. 

An investigation into the cause of the fire has not taken place as the building is unsafe for operational crew to enter. Approximately 80 per cent of the building has now collapsed, with one section of the mill demolished.

Therefore the cause of the fire is undetermined due to the site being unsafe to investigate at this time.

9:30pm update (Sunday March 25, 2018):

Work is underway to demolish one section Proofings Mill in Hare Hill Road, Littleborough so crews can safety extinguish the remaining pockets of fire that are still burning under debris.

One fire engine will remain at the scene overnight and crews will reassess the next stages tomorrow morning (Monday, March 26).

Station Manager Mick Lawlor said: “Crews have done a fantastic job this weekend at this challenging incident. We are now working with the demolition team to gain access to the site and extinguish and remaining pockets of fire.

“Hare Hill Road will reopen before 6am on Monday, March 26 with traffic management assistance from local authorities.”


9am update (Sunday March 25, 2018):

Firefighters from Chadderton and Whitehill along with an aerial appliance from Bolton are continuing to put out the fire at Proofings Mill in Littleborough.

Watch Manager at Chadderton community fire station, David Roach said: “The incident is still ongoing and we are targeting the fire from two sectors using a hydraulic platform and a jet. Although the majority of the fire is out – there are still pockets of fire within the building that we are struggling to reach.

“Due to the instability of the building, we are unable to enter and are fighting the fire from outside of the mill. Our crews have done a fantastic job at this incident, and it has been a real team effort to get to the stage that we are at now. Firefighters have worked tirelessly to put the fire out with minimal disruption to the local community.

“There is still light smoke coming from the fire so if you are local, please continue to avoid the area and please keep your doors and windows shut until further notice.”

Crews are likely to be at the scene for most of the day. 

10pm update (Saturday March 24, 2018):

Firefighters will continue to work through the night to extinguish the flames at a derelict mill in Hare Hill Road, Littleborough.

Residents that were evacuated earlier in the evening have now been let back into their homes but all local residents are advised to keep their windows and doors shut.

Officer in charge, Station Manager Andy Hardman said: “The smoke has reduced and thankfully the wind has calmed but we are still advising all residents to stay away from the area and to keep windows and doors shut.

“Thanks to the hard work from our crews, we have been able to reduce cordons which have allowed the evacuated residents back into their homes. We will continue to tackle the blaze throughout the night – and although the incident has scaled down, due to the size of the industrial building, we still have some work to do.

“We are targeting the fire from height from two sectors and also using handheld jets. I would like to thank all the crews that have worked hard to tackle the fire earlier today, and also to the night shift who now have the task of extinguishing the fire completely.”

Four pumps from Bury, Blackley Hollins and Heywood along with two hydraulic platforms from Manchester Central and Oldham will remain at the scene overnight.

7:55pm update (Saturday March 24, 2018):
Firefighters are continuing to tackle the blaze at Proofings Mill in Littleborough. Crews are still fighting the fire from three sectors using two jets, two hydraulic platforms and a number of hose reels.

Parts of the building have collapsed but this is not affecting the work from our crews. The smoke plume from the fire has reduced but nearby residents are still advised to keep their windows and doors closed and to avoid the area.

Group Manager Val Hussain said: “Crews are continuing to make good progress at this challenging incident thanks to their hard work

and we will be scaling back to four fire engines shortly.

“We are working hard with other agencies to ensure the building and surrounding areas are safe but we expect to be on the scene for a considerable amount of hours. Until further notice I would ask people to continue to keep their doors and windows closed as a precaution."

5pm update (Saturday March 24, 2018):

Six fire engines from Littleborough, Oldham, Blackley, Rochdale, Heywood and Hollins and two hydraulic platforms are currently tackling a blaze at a Proofings Mill in Hare Hill Road, Littleborough.

Crews were called to the scene at 4:29pm and are continuing to put out the fire which is involving three floors of a derelict mill, measuring 60 x 30 metres.

Firefighters are using a number of jets in three sectors to fight the fire and tacking the blaze from height with two hydraulic platforms.


Group Manager Val Hussain said: "Our crews are doing a fantastic job at fighting the fire at the derelict mill. The mill is well alight but our firefighters are working hard to bring it under control. I would ask all nearby residents to keep their doors and windows closed to prevent any smoke from entering their homes.

"We are making good progress in putting the fire out and have evacuated residents from 12 nearby properties as a precaution. Please avoid the area if you can."

Hare Hill Road and Sale Street have closed whilst our crews fight the fire. If you live in the area, please ensure your windows and doors are closed. 



Last update: 26/03/2018 13:36:06
Subscribe to the Latest Incidents feed