Call for help from factory owner after building damaged by devastating fire

The owners of Middleton’s oldest factory have launched a fundraiser following a massive fire in the building last week.

Firefighters were called to report a fire at a commercial building on Townley Street, near the city center, around 8:45 p.m. last Thursday (December 30).

The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said the flames had already engulfed all three floors of the building by the time they arrived.

READ MORE: Amazing video captures the moment lightning strikes a house, sparking a massive fire and massive evacuation

The fire occurred at Lodge Mills’ rear mill – the front mill miraculously avoided any damage from the fire.

However, following the demolition of the rear mill building, the front mill engine room suffered structural damage.

The couple Martin Cove and Paula Hickey have owned Lodge Mill since April 2019 and are working on the development of the building before the mill into accommodation and community space.

They recently launched The Ice Cream Shop at Lodge, which has been a huge success.

The Lodge Mill building following the fire

Martin said the Engine House sustained damage when emergency crews responded to the rear plant fire.

“The fire damaged the front mill very little,” Martin told MEN

“The Engine House just suffered water damage to the laminate flooring – it was much better than expected.

“But on Sunday, the demolition crew accidentally knocked down a wall above the engine room and it went through the roof.

“It was quite a shock to us – it’s just one thing about the other.”

Martin and Paula have has now started a fundraiser in the hope of covering the cost of repairing the Engine House building.

Firefighters tackle the Middleton blaze

Since launching Thursday evening (January 6), the fundraiser has raised £ 745 of its £ 2,000 goal.

Posting on the fundraising page, Martin wrote: “Unfortunately the machine house was even more damaged during the demolition of the back mill, which means part of the building will need a bit more work to be done. restored.

“We hope that with the help of Go Finance, we can cover the costs of the ground floor and that the rest of the damage will be covered in other ways.

“We hope to raise funds to replace the laminate flooring on the ground floor of the engine room which has been totally destroyed, but we hope to recover other items (furniture and decorations) with the help of all great people who have volunteered to help with the cleanup once the building is deemed safe enough to enter.

Martin said that if they reach their fundraising goal, they hope the factory and machine house will be back up and running by Easter.

They are also asking people to donate any unwanted artificial Christmas trees for an upcoming event they are planning later in the year. People can get in touch with them via Facebook here.

The GMFRS continues to investigate the cause of the fire.

You can donate to fundraising here.

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