A LARGE pallet fire which caused an estimated £100,000 worth of damage was started accidentally, say firefighters.
An investigation has been carried out after a fierce blaze ripped through a storage yard at Mid Cheshire Pallets Limited on Leslie Road in Winsford on Friday, May 24.
Firefighters used 10 appliances and a water tower to tackle huge flames fuelled by up to 20,000 new and reconditioned wooden pallets.
Neighbouring businesses were evacuated as a precaution and residents advised to keep windows and doors shut.
Crews remained at the scene for 24 hours to make sure there were no embers left.
A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "An investigation is being held into the cause of the fire.
"At this stage the fire is believed to have been started accidentally but the exact cause remains under investigation."
Director of the pallet company Paul Rivers has thanked the local community and businesses who rallied round to offer practical help and support.
Just four days after the fire, the firm was up and running again.
Mr Rivers said: "You suddenly realise how well thought of you are in local business and the community. We were overwhelmed with the generosity of help and support from the local community and local businesses.
"It is the community rallying round. We can't thank them enough."
"Our customers and suppliers have been amazing.
"The emergency services were fantastic. We have been extremely lucky. Fortunately no-one was hurt. No equipment was lost, just stock."
By Barbara Jordan - Senior reporter