The roof exploded as a fire ripped through a house near the train tracks

A fire engulfed an empty house, temporarily closing the nearby train line and disrupting morning rush hour traffic.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service fire crews were called to Briardale Road in Liverpool shortly before 7am today after reports of a blaze.

Fire crews on the road, which leads to Penny Lane, discovered a fire in the roof of a detached property backing onto the railway tracks.

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Fire crews from four engines entered the building to fight the blaze wearing breathing apparatus and using hose reel jets.

Footage from the scene showed a massive fire in the roof and thick, dark-colored smoke billowing from the train tracks.

A resident of Briardale Road told ECHO he was awakened by the smell of smoke billowing from the building.

He said: “We could smell something but only realized it was a fire after our neighbor knocked on the door and said the house was on fire.

“We have rabbits in the back and had to bring them back due to fear of smoke inhalation.

“The embers were going everywhere and then the tiles started exploding so I thought I’d keep an eye on everything as I was worried the rabbit hutches were going up.”

When ECHO arrived on the scene shortly after 8 a.m., firefighters said the fire was out and hot spot detection and dampening efforts were underway.

A cordon was put in place on Briardale Road to prevent cars from driving on the road while firefighters worked.

Firefighters cordoned off Briardale Road to prevent cars from descending while firefighters worked

Residents and customers of a print shop located at the edge of the cordon could come and go if they notified the fire department or the police.

Footage showed the aftermath of the fire with the roof of the building completely destroyed and black spots surrounding the windows from smoke.

Fire crews attend a fire scene off Penny Lane and Briardale Road.
The roof of the building was completely destroyed in the fire

No one was reported injured in the blaze, and residents of the scene said it had been uninhabited for several years.

Due to the building’s proximity to the railway line, several services were canceled or delayed this morning.

Overhead rail lines were disabled due to jets of smoke and water from firefighters, causing delays to Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern between Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe, and Transport for Wales between Liverpool Lime Street and Chester .

Engineers from a Network Rail Response Unit could be seen on the train line.

Fire engines and police cars from British Transport Police and Merseyside Police could be seen along Penny Lane near the rail bridge as fire crews worked on the building.

This caused delays during the morning rush hour as cars had to use one lane of the road.

When ECHO left the scene around 10:30 a.m., only one fire engine remained on the scene.

A police officer at the scene confirmed that fire investigators were in the affected building and once they were finished the cordon would be removed.

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Raymond I. Langston