The Mancunion

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Historic building demolished after fire burns for days

Mr Ryan’s World Famous 2nd Hand Shop, a landmark Mancunian Art Deco building, torn down after three day fire


On Sunday 21st April demolition began on a historic Manchester landmark following a blaze earlier this month.

The derelict fabric shop on Oldham Street was ravaged by a fire which began on 11th April. Around 100 people were evacuated from the immediate vicinity in the Northern Quarter as up to 40 firefighters tackled the blaze.

The fire continued to smoulder for three days, causing concern for local residents and business owners. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The imposing Art Deco building was more recently known for housing “Mr Ryan’s World Famous 2nd Hand Shop”. Worked in to the brickwork at the top, however, is the name of the building’s origin; Dobbins Department Store, a throwback to the days when Oldham Street was the main shopping avenue.

Cordons put in place have been in effect since the initial call out, leading to the re-routing of the St. George’s Day Parade due to fears of safety on Sunday 21st April. Foot passage is now permitted, but the road remains closed to vehicles as demolition work continues.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) took to social media to help deliver information about evacuation and closures, as well as updates on their progress.

Six fire engines responded to the initial call out, and as the incident escalated they had crews from eight fire engines and two aerial appliances. Messages of support and thanks for the fire service poured in, and pictures were posted regularly from GMFRS and onlookers alike on Twitter and Instagram.

The story has been collated by GMFRS using social media tool Storify, signing off with this statement, “It’s sad to see a piece of Manchester’s history so badly damaged and GMFRS doesn’t like to see people’s lives disrupted in the way the Oldham Street fire did. However, those effected showed just how much a community they really are – both in person and online.”