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Firefighters and police carry out rescue exercise

Five rescues have taken place in Manchester this month Credit: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters and police divers have been carrying out a mock rescue and body recovery in the Piccadilly Basin, Manchester to show how dangerous canals can be.

The exercise comes after a spate of incidents in the city centre, with crews attending five water incidents in the last month.

Firefighters warn of dangers of severe weather

Fire chiefs are warning of the dangers of driving in severe weather after two women were seriously hurt in a motorway crash. The pair had to be cut from their car by firefighters after it skidded on standing water near Junction 20 of the M62 early this morning.

"The two women were driving their Mini convertible back from Leeds when they hit some standing water and ended up on the motorway embankment. When you hit standing water at speed you aquaplane and can easily lose control of your car. They were very fortunate because their car stopped next to a metal post – it could’ve been much worse.”

– Station Manager Pete Buckley, GM Fire and Rescue Service

“It sounds like these two women had a very lucky escape. We wish them both a speedy recovery. We would urge everyone to take extra care in wet driving conditions especially after a long dry spell when roads can become very greasy in the rain.”

– Cllr David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority

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Man charged with murdering elderly man in Blackburn

Christopher' Proctor's body was found after a fire at his bungalow in Blackburn Credit: Lancashire Police

A man has been charged with the murder of a pensioner in Blackburn.

The body of 88 year- old Christopher Proctor was found after a fire at his bungalow in Pleckgate.

38 year -old Anthony Curry from Blackburn is due before magistrates in the town in the morning. He also accused of arson, theft and burglary.

A 30 year old woman Clare Randall is also appearing charged with theft.

Inside bungalow gutted by fire

Lancashire Police investigating the murder of an 88-year-old man in Blackburn believe he was dead before a fire at his home.

Christopher Proctor's bungalow on Pleckgate Road was destroyed by flames in the early hours of Saturday, November 10.

Police today re-issued their appeal for more information about what happened to him.

Mr Proctor's bed, a television and an arm chair were found in this room Credit: ITV Granada
Police believe Mr Proctor was dead before the fire started Credit: ITV Granada

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Fire death victim's bank card used on morning of blaze

Christopher Proctor, 88, is believed to have died in the fire last week Credit: Lancashire Police

A bank card belonging to a man who is believed to have been killed in a house fire was used on the same morning he died, police have said.

Although the victim hasn't been identified, Lancashire Police believe he was 88-year-old Christopher Proctor, who lived alone at the house on Pleckgate Road in Blackburn.

The fire happened shortly before 4am last Saturday, November 10.

Detective Superinendent Paul Withers, who is leading the investigation, said: “We believe that Christopher Proctor may have been targeted over several years by people taking advantage of his vulnerability."

He said someone tried to use the card at two cash points between 2.15am and 2.25am.

Officers are reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV but Det Supt Withers also appealed for anyone in Blackburn with CCTV covering the areas between Pleckgate Road and Whalley New Road at Roe Lee to urgently get in touch.

Anyone with information or CCTV should call police on the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting log number 1020 of November 15th.

87-year-old woman's house set on fire

An 87-year-old woman was forced to flee her home after someone set fire to a wheelie bin at the front door of her home in Little Hulton.

The fire spread to the house while the woman was still inside. A neighbour spotted the flames and she was able to escape unharmed. Police are investigating.

"The victim has limited mobility and struggles with her sight and hearing and was completely unaware that her house was on fire. Thanks to her neighbour alerting the fire service, the woman was not injured, however, the story could have been different.

"I would ask anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area to contact police. At this moment in time, we do not believe this was a targeted attack but we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed anything."

– Detective Sergeant Paul Manivannan, Swinton Police Station
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