TODAY marks the anniversary of one of the biggest fires in Warrington’s history.

The town’s famous Greenalls distillery was ripped apart by the inferno exactly 17 years ago.

Warrington Guardian:

Breaking out on the afternoon of Saturday, October 15 2005, the blaze was estimated to have caused £40million in damage and saw the beginning of the end of the historic firm occupying the Wilderspool site.

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

A large housing estate has since been constructed in its place.

Warrington Guardian:

Firefighters from across the north west were called to the tackle the flames, with nearly 30 engines from as far afield as Bolton and Wallasey present at its height.

Warrington Guardian:

The incident also caused major disruption for residents, with Wilderspool Causeway and London Road closed for hours as the fire raged long into the night.

Some were stranded overnight, with many watching the drama from behind the emergency services cordon.

Warrington Guardian:

So much water flowed into the nearby Manchester Ship Canal that the Environment Agency had to treat 200,000 gallons of contaminated H2O.

Crews remained at the distillery for four days, with more than 100 in total fighting the fire – which destroyed two million litres of alcohol.

Warrington Guardian:

While police treated the blaze as suspicious, nobody has ever been convicted of starting the fire.

A trial against a former worker at the brewery collapsed.

For more pictures of Greenalls the fire, browse the gallery above