A FIRE at a timber merchant caused a stretch of the A127 to be closed last night.

Crews from Leigh and Southend spent about an hour battling the blaze, which is believed to have spread from a bonfire to a shed containing a large amount of wood.

The flames and smoke caused the road to be closed just after 9.35pm yesterday as the fire, at the merchant on Prince Avenue, was put out.

Dean Riley, watch manager at Leigh fire station, said: “It was well alight, we had a number of calls to the scene.

“We had to close the road because the fire and smoke were spilling across the carriageway from the property.”