A MAJOR blaze at the Boots store on Gemini Retail Park, Warrington, last night which involved 14 fire crews battling to stop flames spreading to nearby buildings, is not believed to have been started maliciously.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are still investigating the cause of the blaze which broke out at 8.25pm in a storeroom at Boots on Europa Boulevard, causing damage to the neighbouring Next Store and road closures on Cromwell Avenue.
On arrival firefighters discovered an intense fire on the first floor of the building which was in danger of spreading to the adjacent Next store.
Four fire crews started to tackle the blaze but this was increased to six and then 10 as crews worked to stop the fire from spreading. At one stage there were 14 fire crews on site.
Area Manager Terry McDermott said: "The centre of the fire was in a storeroom on the mezzanine floor of Boots.
"There were a range of aerosols and chemicals involved which made it difficult for crews to enter the premises and tackle the fire at close quarters."
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets to try to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent Next store."
Cheshire fire brigade received support provided from Merseyside and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services.
Two aerial appliance were used to tackle the fire after flames broke through the roof.
Europa Boulevard was closed from the mini roundabout outside Ikea up to the roundabout at Callands Road and visitors to the site are advised, where possible or find alterative car parks.
All the retail premises, with the exception of Boots and Next, are trading as usual today. The two large car parks serving Ikea and Marks and Spencer will be open and accessible from Charon Way and Westbrook Crescent only.