Eccles Crown Theatre: Firefighters tackle derelict building blaze

Firefighters at Crown Theatre, Eccles Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Firefighters faced challenging conditions with freezing temperatures and the building was not safe to enter

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze at a derelict theatre in Salford.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said it had to fight the fire from outside the former Crown Theatre in Church Street, Eccles as it was too dangerous to enter.

About 35 firefighters were at the scene from 04:45 GMT. GMFRS added it was now "on top" of the fire.

Nearby residents are advised to keep doors and windows closed because of a "significant amount of smoke".

Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The blaze was causing "significant smoke" in the area

Station manager Ady Taylor, of GMFRS, praised the swift actions of firefighters "operating in challenging conditions" with freezing temperatures making the ground slippery.

"We continue to have to fight this fire from outside the building - the state of its disrepair and the fact it is still dark means it would be unsafe to enter," he said.

The Crown opened in 1899 and was originally known as the Lyceum Theatre before becoming a cinema between 1932 and 1963, according to the Theatres Trust.

It then became a bingo hall and it is understood to have been empty for about 20 years.

Developer Goodwin Property Holdings said it had plans to turn the five-storey Grade II listed building into 82 apartments.

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