LATEST: Commercial building blaze, Oxford Street East, Ashton

More than 70 firefighters are continuing to battle a huge fire with residents nearby warned to keep windows and doors shut.

Fifteen fire engines are now at the scene of a commercial premises fire in Ashton, with vast plumes of smoke visible from across the town as winds fan the flames.

Roads surrounding the area have been closed and residents heading to see more at the scene are being urged to stay away to allow emergency crews to do their jobs.

The fire took hold just after 3pm this afternoon and has steadily grown in size, with loud rumbles heard locally as parts of the building collapse.

Fire crews were quickly in attendance, using jets on the ground and aerial appliances to angle water from above.

Paul Etches, Area Manager for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS), said: “I want to praise our hardworking GMFRS firefighters who have been working steadily all evening. We expect to be at the scene into the early hours and have just provided fresh crews to handle the incident. We have separated the scene into different sectors of firefighting, which is allowing us to focus our efforts on specific pockets and make steady progress.

“This fire is ongoing. I want to reassure local people that, although there is a lot of smoke in the area and we are still asking nearby residents to keep windows and doors closed, we are continuing to do everything we can to bring this fire fully under control.”

Electricity to some local properties has been affected, with the local authority assisting residents from around 50 homes which will have no power overnight. Stockport Road, the A6017 between Guide Bridge railway station and St Peter’s Church, is closed to traffic and will likely remain so into the morning.

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