A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a house in Whitefield was destroyed by a fire overnight.

Emergency services, police and fire services were called just before midnight following reports of a fire on Melrose Close, Whitefield.

Fire services say that the occupier of the house was not in at the time.

The suspect remains in police custody for questioning.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “At around 12am last night (30 July 2023), officers were called to reports of a fire at an address on Melrose Close in Whitefield, Bury.

“A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody for questioning.”

Messenger Newspapers:

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services (GMFRS), police, the crime scene investigation unit, along with fire investigation officers remain at the scene, although the incident has been “scaled down”.

A spokesperson for GMFRS) said: “Just before midnight on Saturday July 30, fire crews were called to reports of a fire at a home on Melrose Close, Whitefield.

“Five fire engines and a hydraulic platform appliance from across Greater Manchester were mobilised to the incident.

“The fire began in an outbuilding and quickly spread to the roof space and first floor of the home.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used four jets and a high-pressure lance to extinguish the fire.

Messenger Newspapers:

“The occupier was out of the house prior to crews’ arrival.

“Working with Greater Manchester Police and North West Ambulance Service, firefighters helped temporarily evacuate nearby properties and check on the welfare of neighbours.

“The incident has been scaled down, but GMFRS crews and fire investigation officers remain at the scene.”

Resident David Frost says he heard a loud noise, and thought it was fireworks.

He said: “I got up and the dog was barking.

“I then looked out the front window and I could just see an orange light.

“I heard all the banging, so I went to the back bedroom, and I looked outside and there was a blaze.

“The fire brigade turned up.”

Another neighbour says she woke up and looked out of her window and saw the fire.

She said: “It started at about 11pm last night.

"I just looked through my curtain and saw the fire.

“There were fire engines all down the road.

“I’ve never known anything like it; it’s horrendous.

“I don’t know whether they will have to take the house down or not now.”

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