An arson investigation has been launched after a major scrapyard blaze involving 120 vehicles.

A total of eight fire engines from Hyndburn, Great Harwood, Rawtenstall, Burnley and Blackburn and a command unit were called to First Choice Car Spares at the Moorfield Industrial Estate in Altham shortly after 4pm on Sunday, April 9.

It is the second time the business has been targeted in recent months after 400 vehicles went up in flames in December last year.

No casualties have been reported and Lancashire Police have now launched an arson investigation.

Firefighters initially believed the latest blaze had damaged 50 vehicles, however by 6.45pm the number had more than doubled to 120 vehicles.

Firefighters tackling an Altham scrapyard fire on April 9, 2017, involving 120 vehicles. Pictures taken by Karl Yates.

Water was pumped from the Leeds-Liverpool Canal using a ‘high volume pump’ to put out the blaze and firefighters worked to ensure the run-off water poured onto the fire didn’t ‘enter water courses and pollute them’.

A ‘large plume of smoke’ was visible from the nearby M65 motorway and residents in the area were ‘asked to stay clear of the area’ and to keep windows and doors closed.

First Choice Car Spares declined to comment when contacted by the Observer on Monday morning.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said they were at the scene for over three hours before the fire was put out and crews remained at the scene to ‘damp down’ and to ‘seek out and extinguish any remaining pockets of fire’.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “It’s being look at as an arson. Offenders have approached the rear of the compound and it’s suggested that possibly one or several of the vehicles have been set on fire.

“With the nature of the weather and it being a warm day the fire has then spread.”

Police said no arrests have been made in connection with the previous arson incident at the scrapyard on December 7.

Anyone with information call police in 101 quote crime reference number ED1705571.