A blaze at an abandoned mill turned apartment block in Old Trafford is to be treated as arson.

The emergency services were called to Empress Mill on Empress Street at 5.15am on Friday.

Ten appliances from across the region, including specialist appliances called a "stinger" and a "scorpion", attended the abandoned mill turned apartment block off Chester Road and firefighters battled the blaze into the afternoon.

In an update Greater Manchester Police Trafford said the incident is to be treated as arson. They appealed for information about three men who were seen in the area.

Sergeant Richard Lees said: "I would like to reassure members of the public this is being treated as an isolated incident with no risk to the public. 

"We are carrying out extensive enquiries to determine the circumstances."

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: "Shortly after 5.15am, 10 fire appliances from across Greater Manchester, including the specialist stinger appliance and scorpion appliance, were called to attend a fire on Chester Road, Old Trafford.

"Crews arrived and are using four jets to extinguish the fire. Firefighters remain at the scene."

Empress Mill was turned into an apartment block as part of a development called Orchid Point.

It is understood some residents were allowed to move in 10 years ago but these residents were asked to move out after a number of years due to safety.

On February 20 this year, Empress Mill was one of a number of buildings described as "unsafe" and "unsecure" buildings by Trafford Council. It came after the site sold at auction with a guide of £1.5m.

The authority said "enough is enough" and it threatened to take action against those responsible.

Liz Patel, executive member for economy and regeneration, said: "We've spent years trying to address these issues alongside a number of partners including GMFRS and we are now saying enough is enough. 

"We will not stand by and do nothing as these unsafe and unsecure buildings blight our communities. Developers must do the right thing or face action."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or the LiveChat on gmp.police.uk.

They can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.