Oct 17 2013 by Jamie Bowman, Ormskirk Advertiser
A DEVASTATING fire ripped through a turf company responsible for laying Wembley's world-famous football pitch.
Fifty firefighters from as far away as Manchester and Preston attended the blaze at Skelmersdale-based J Malinson after a neighbour raised the alarm in the early hours of Friday, October 11.
A large storeroom and workshop at the company's remote Vale Lane premises was gutted by the fire which spread quickly due to high winds.
Firefighters' attempts to combat the flames were hampered by the presence of hazardous argon and propane gas cylinders.
In recent years the West Lancashire company has produced sports fields for football, cricket, horse racing and golf, including laying the turf at Wembley Stadium, Everton FC's Goodison Park and Manchester United's home Old Trafford as well as Lord's Cricket Ground.
A spokesperson for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that eight engines attended the scene after receiving a call at 3.03am.
He said: “The firefighters worked well in a potentially very dangerous situation due to the kind of cylinders that were in the 50m by 20m warehouse.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation and we're working with the company to establish what went on in the hours leading up to the blaze.”
J Malinson's general manager, John Lamoury, said that his staff were determined to recover from the fire as soon as possible.
He said: “It's difficult to say how much damage has been done as we have not been let into the building.
“It is effectively our workshop so had quite a bit of our kit in there as well as plant equipment, and there were all the usual things you'd expect to find in a workshop such as tools and compressors.
“We have been checking on the CCTV to see if anybody else was around or whether it started spontaneously in the building itself.
“We don't know yet but from what I understand the police and fire service are investigating all potential possibilities. The priority will be to clean it up as quickly as possible and get back to doing the work we do.”