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25 years ago in Salford: Fire crews escape building collapse inferno that crushes 85 cars

Firefighters in Salford had a brush with death on 14 April 1990 when they escaped a factory fire thought to have been started by arsonists.

On that Wednesday evening fire crews struggled to contain a blaze that broke out at a textile factory on Grove Street in Broughton.

They were initially called to the scene when frantic neighbours reported a voice calling from inside the building, “I’m stuck, please help me!”

Such was the intensity of the fire the building was close to collapse and within hours it had toppled, the burning debris and falling rubble crushing £60,000-worth of brand new cars and vans belonging to Route One Ford.

A full scale search of the rubble continued the next day for what was feared to be a body trapped underneath the wreckage, but nobody was found despite an extensive search of the premises.

Station Officer Dave Morris told the Salford Advertiser: “We went on searching through the debris for so long because neighbours were certain that there was a person trapped underneath the rubble, they were so certain that some of them were pulling away at the rubble themselves.

“The building is now gone and all that remains is a flat slab.”

Fire chiefs stated that the blaze was started by firebugs and treated the case as arson.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.