‘Frantic’ knocks, soaring heat and a cat ‘lowered in carrier with a rope’ as neighbors scramble after fire breaks out


Neighbors in a quiet corner of Tameside rushed to help each other after smoke began billowing above a takeaway. Residents were woken to the sound of ‘frantic’ knocking and sirens after a blaze broke out on Smallshaw Lane, in Ashton-under-Lyne, this morning (Saturday).

Just minutes after calls to 999 at 8.14am, seven fire engines had raced to the scene, while police cordoned off roads nearby. People living close to the scene had already begun to help each other out before the first blue light arrived in the neighbourhood.

Mark Lloyd was sweeping his front garden when he noticed smoke coming from above the Chilli Pickle takeaway, around the corner from his home. As he began getting the attention of residents on Smallshaw Lane, he noticed two people stuck in a flat above the laundrette next door to the take-away.

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Mark told the Manchester Evening News : “There was smoke going up and then it turned to flames. It seemed to be at the back of the building at first.

“We knocked at the neighbours’, then in the window above the laundrette two faces came through the window. They couldn’t get out from where they were because the fire seemed to be at the back of the building.



Fire crews at the scene

“All the alarms were going off at the Chilli Pickle. The smoke was coming out from the roof space. It looked like they had put the fire out at one point but then it came back. It was raging.”

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Mark says fire crews arrived within moments and rushed to rescue the two residents above the laundrette. He added: “They seemed okay, just shaken up. It was just fortunate people were about at that time.”

Before crews arrived, neighbors had already started preparing to rescue the two people stuck in the flat – who first lowered their cat out of the window. Gerry Hughes, who lives on the same block that was affected by the fire, said: “I got a frantic knock on the window.



The fire was tackled above the Chilli Pickle
The fire was tackled above the Chilli Pickle

“I came out and my next door neighbor said he wanted my ladders, before the fire brigade came. The cat came to me – it was in a cat carrier with rope wrapped around it to lower it.

“I just kept out of the way. It was smouldering. I went to the back and it was ablaze – so much so it was hot and I could feel it in the garden. It was like a hot summer’s day.”

Crews remained at the scene for a number of hours as the building was dampened down and safety checks were made. While fire scene investigators arrived to inspect the area, neighbors poured out from their homes to check what was happening and if everyone was okay.



Crews remained in the area for several hours
Crews remained in the area for several hours

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) says one casualty was checked at the scene ‘as a precaution’ by North West Ambulance Service. It is not believed there were any injuries following the fire.

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A spokesperson for GMFRS added: “At 8.14am on Saturday (May 14) seven fire engines and several specialist and support appliances from GMFRS attended a fire involving the external ducting and roof space of a mid-terraced commercial property on Smallshaw Lane, Ashton under Lyne. Crews used six breathing apparatus, two jets, one ultra-high pressure lance and an aerial ladder platform to extinguish the fire.”

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www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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