A major fire broke out on a new-build housing estate in Eccles in the early hours of this morning, Monday 13 June.
Police have confirmed they are investigating an arson at the former Patricroft Royal Ordnance Factory on Green Lane, where Countryside Properties are in the process of building 142 new homes.
One eyewitness told SalfordOnline.com: “The flames were shooting well above the rooftops of the existing houses.
“On-site security were there at the time but obviously missed it at first.”
Three fire engines from Eccles, Stretford and Salford were called to the site at 3.17am on Monday to find a well-developed fire in one of the houses under construction.
Patrick Bowley captured video from his home on the opposite side of the Bridgewater Canal.
He said: “It was the early hours of the morning when I woke up to a cracking sound.
“It sounded like trees breaking, only to notice from my bedroom window a huge blazing fire coming from the housing estate across the canal.
“The whole of one of the houses was ablaze.
“Immediately I woke up my partner Sarah and we called 999 to get the fire brigade out straight away.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police confirmed the fire was “deliberate ignition” and said an investigation had been launched.
At this time no suspects have been identified but anyone with any information should call Greater Manchester Police on 101.
Police closed both ends of Green Lane as fire crews battled the large blaze for over three hours.
It’s understood that no-one was injured in the fire but two houses under construction suffered severe fire and smoke damage.
Pictures from the scene sent in by SalfordOnline.com readers just before dawn this morning show fire taking hold of scaffolding on one of the houses while large plumes of smoke emanate from the building site.
Fire crews surrounded the blaze with two hose reels to bring it under control before handing over to police.
Officers are understood to have been waiting until daylight to start their investigation.
Countryside Properties are building 142 homes at the former Royal Ordnance Factory on Green Lane.
It’s not the first time the housebuilders have been beset with difficulties: the army’s bomb disposal unit had to be called twice in a week after dummy training mortar shells were found in the initial groundworks.
Countryside Properties have been contacted for comment.
Main image: Patrick Bowley