SOME 30 firefighters have tackled a large blaze which has destroyed a former church in Oldham which may have been operating as a drugs farm.

Flames shot 50 feet into the night sky after the fire started in the Regent Street building in the Mumps district about 9.15pm last night.

Six appliances led by crews from Chadderton and hydraulic platform attended the scene and fire fighters were still on the scene today (Wednesday, March 4) damping down.

At the peak of the blaze nearby roads were closed and neighbours were advised to keep windows and doors closed.

There were no reports of any injuries.

Station Manager Nicholas Griffin said: “Our crews worked extremely hard to extinguish this fire and are expected to remain at the incident for a number of hours.

“I’d like to praise crews for their swift response to incident and containing the fire, which is now very unlikely to spread to other buildings."

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, but a nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said it is believed the building was being used as a drugs farm.