A LARGE blaze tore through a storage warehouse, causing thousands of pounds of damage - and one of the owners claims the fire has left them bankrupt.

Firefighters were called to the two-storey Unique Storage warehouse, at the junction of Foundry Street and Sidney Street, Great Lever, at 8pm on Saturday, after reports of youths making a noise in the area and starting a fire.

It is believed a quad bike inside the warehouse was set on fire and police and the fire service have launched an arson investigation.

The business offers 10 units for people to store their goods, with one of the units housing several quad bikes.

Dan Williams, one of the Unique Storage owners, said: “There were about six or seven quad bikes in one of the units. They have all been destroyed.

“The whole place is a mess.

“Everywhere is smoke damaged, all the property has been destroyed and the net result is this has left us bankrupt.”

Mr Williams said repairs would cost at least £8,000.

He added: “This is arson. There was graffiti inside the building. The people who have done this knew exactly what they were doing — there is no excuse for it.”

Six fire engines attended in the blaze with teams from Bolton, Farnworth, Eccles and Salford joined by a specialist crew from Atherton.

They put out the fire by about 11pm, but the area remained cordoned off until noon yesterday as investigations took place.

Incident commander Brian Highlands said: “It was difficult for us to enter at first because of the building layout.”

A police spokesman said: “We were notified about youths causing noise in the area and that a fire had been started on a quad bike. We believe this to be a deliberate fire.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.