IT is 13 years ago today that the famous Greenalls distillery in Wilderspool was torn apart by fire.

2 comments The blaze on Saturday, October 15, 2005, was one of the largest in the town's history.

The fire was estimated to have caused £40 million in damage and saw the beginning of the end of the firm occupying the site.

It was reopened as offices for the business, but the operation is now in Risley.

The Wilderspool site is now a large housing estate.

On that afternoon, firefighters from across the north west were tackling the flames. At its height, almost 30 fire engines from as far as Bolton and Wallasey were at the site.

The fire, which started around 4pm, also caused major disruption for residents.

Wilderspool Causeway and London Road were closed for hours as the flames burned long into the night. Some residents were stranded overnight, with many watching the drama from the cordon.

So much water went into the nearby Manchester Ship Canal that staff from the Environment Agency had to treat 200,000 gallons of contaminated water.

Fire crews remained at the site for four days with more than 100 in total fighting the fire which destroyed 2 million litres of alcohol.

While police treated the fire as suspicious, nobody has ever been convicted of started the fire. A trial brought against a former worker at the brewery collapsed.