POLICE and fire investigators are assessing whether a large blaze in Crewe that engulfed outbuildings near the town centre was stared deliberately.

Four fire engines were called to the blaze which started within a derelict caravan behind Catherine Street, off Gresty Road, just before 1pm on Tuesday, April 15.

People living nearby were advised to close their windows to avoid plumes of black smoke that towered into the sky over Crewe.

Four appliances from Crewe, Nantwich, Sandbach and Middlewich were sent to the fire , which spread to a large number of scrap vehicles and single-store 20x30 metre brick and wood garages on the site.

Police set up a cordon around Catherine Street and the end of Chambers Street to allow firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze.

The Environment Agency and United Utilities visited the incident to assist with the removal of water from the scene.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The incident was handed back to the owner at 11:35pm on April 15 following a thorough inspection of the site using thermal imaging cameras.

“There is a joint investigation on going with police to ascertain the cause of the fire.”