The Factory boss thanked firefighters for stopping his business going up in smoke after arsonists struck on Tuesday 07th April 1998. The fire crew from Great Harwood battled to put out flames which threatened to engulf Smith Brothers (Casings) Limited in Eachill Road, Rishton. The blaze was started in a delivery van parked in the loading bay and flames were soon threatening the adjacent factory.
Police wanted to question a teenage boy seen near the factory when the blaze broke out at 1.20pm on the Sunday.
Director Bill Smith said his insurance company had been left with a £15,000 bill for the damage. He said: "The van is gutted and part of the loading bay canopy and guttering are damaged. The fire brigade did a superb job. It might have been a lot worse if they had not acted so quickly. I am just glad no one was hurt. If it was children who did it, I think their parents should be made aware that they are using matches."
Great Harwood fire station officer Jack Anderson said the fire was just starting to get hold when they arrived at the factory which produces sausage casings. He said: "The van and canopy were well alight. It was starting to get hold of the timbers and it could have soon got into the factory."
Children were believed to have sparked the blaze when they broke into the van and set light to nylon rope.
On the 24th January 2002, Councillor Butler informed the Rishton Area Council meeting that the building had been demolished.
Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 07th April 1998