DEMOLITION HUB

The fire ravaged buildings of a former cotton mill are being demolished after a devastating blaze tore through the 19th century buildings.

Emergency crews worked through the night and most of Wednesday to bring the huge fire at Oxford Mills, in Ashton-under-Lyne, under control.

Firefighters were still “damping down” pockets of fire and heat this evening as crews began to demolish what was left of the historic mill.

Dramatic images show a long arm reach demolition excavator pulling the walls of the building down piece by piece.

Meanwhile, a firefighter atop a cherry picker can be seen dousing the building with water as they continue to damp down.

Black smoke continues to billow out from parts of the the buildings.

Crews will be working closely with the demolition company as they pull down the affected buildings in sections, allowing firefighters to tackle remaining pockets of fire, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said.

At its height, around 70 firefighters worked to battle the flames and huge plumes of smoke which billowed out from the building, on Oxford Street East.

The demolition work begins (Image: Manchester Evening News)

The fire then spread to another two buildings overnight meaning some nearby residents had to be evacuated.

Around 50 residents have been evacuated from their homes and are being looked after by the local authority.

Tameside Council is expected to make a decision on when they can return home on Thursday.

Executive leader, Coun Brenda Warrington, said affected residents were contacted door to door and have been provided with beds, hot food and drinks at a rest centre.

“Roughly half of the residents were able to make their own arrangements to stay with family or friends overnight, with approximately 23 people from Gibson Terrace staying at the rest centre at Ryecroft Hall,” she said.

Firefighters are supporting demolition crews (Image: Manchester Evening News)

How the fire began has not yet been established and a fire investigation will take place once the fire is fully extinguished.

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