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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 December, 2003, 10:51 GMT
Centre destroyed by fire
A civic hall in Lancashire has been destroyed in a fire.

Crews from three fire and rescue services were required to bring the fire under control early in Whitworth on Saturday.

Two firefighters required hospital treatment after suffering burns to their arms in the fire, which broke out just after 0300 GMT.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue said it is believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

The first and ground floors of the hall in Whitworth's Market Street were well alight when the crews arrived.

Crews from Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire were called in to assist the Lancashire firefighters, but they were unable to save the building.

Assistant Divisional Officer Neville Earnshaw told BBC Radio Lancashire: "Despite our best efforts the fire had taken hold of the building and we were unable to stop it spreading.

"The building is a burnt-out shell. It was a timber-clad building and the construction made it difficult to actually stop the fire from spreading."

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