A DETAILED investigation into the ‘plastic’ fencing installed on a Blackburn estate will take place, residents have been told.

A fire on Sunday April 25 engulfed a row of houses in Worcester Road in Whitebirk causing extensive damage.

Immediately after the fire questions were asked of fencing installed in the neighbourhood which ‘went up in minutes’ according to some residents.

Now Ian Clarke, director of strategy, communications and communities at landlord Together Housing has written to residents saying they are investigating concerns over the safety of the fencing.

In the letter he said: “Resident safety is our top priority. We know that some residents now have concerns over the fencing on the Whitebirk estate and we are taking this very seriously.”

The letter says a ‘detailed investigation of the fencing by a fire expert’ will take place and there will be an ‘action plan to resolve fencing issues on the Whitebirk estate’.

People will be communicated this ‘fencing plan’ by Friday May 14, he said.

Last week, residents told how they felt unsafe. Speaking at his home which was adjacent to the row affected, Mark Jones said: “I got told it spread like it was ‘soaked in petrol’. It was that bad. I would like the fencing to be all ripped off.

“They installed it some years back replacing the wooden one as it lasts longer.”

One resident who did not wish to be named says he saw the fire when only two panels on a back garden plastic fence were alight. He said: “It spread really fast. Within minutes. I have never seen anything like it in my life.”

Alexander Jenkins, who lives opposite the fire scene, ripped off his front garden fence and threw it on to the street. He said: “I am not having that anywhere near my house.

“I have lived here 20 years and always paid my rent on time. They can pick it up and take it away.”

Another resident who has friends living in Worcester Road said: “The brown plastic fencing has gone up around the Whitebirk and Shadsworth areas in the last five years. I think it’s because it resists perishing, so doesn’t need replacing as often as the wood fencing does.”

Fire bosses said as full investigation was under way into the causes of the fire.

The back gardens to seven properties were wrecked in the fire which spread to houses causing extensive damage to the kitchens and bedrooms.