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Bradford mill blaze: Drummonds destroyed by fire

  • 1-31-2016

About 30 firefighters are still at the scene of a blaze that has destroyed a former mill in Bradford.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue crews worked through the night to contain the fire at Drummonds Mill in Manningham.

Ian Bitcon, of West Yorkshire Fire Service, said in his career he had not seen firefighters "work as hard as they did to try and knock this fire back".

Nearby homes had to be evacuated after the basement of the building caught fire at about 11:30 GMT on Thursday.

The flames spread to the roof and part of the four-storey property in Lumb Lane has now collapsed.

More on this story and others from West Yorkshire

Officers said the fire was still smouldering and was still emitting a plume of smoke.

The badly damaged building is regarded as too dangerous for crews to get inside, they added.

Crews are expected to remain at the site throughout the weekend monitoring remaining hotspots.

BBC Radio Leeds reporter Richard Edwards said the landmark building had been reduced to rubble, with debris landing in the street opposite.

The fire service said it was consulting with officers from Bradford Council about the potential demolition of the remains of the building.

  • Drummonds opened in 1861 and was once at the heart of the textile trade, famous for its suit material
  • It became a Grade II listed building in 1979
  • The mill closed in 2002, unable to compete with cheaper foreign operations
  • Plans were submitted in 2012 to develop the mill into flats and businesses

At its height huge plumes of thick, black smoke could be seen above the city's skyline.

People at the scene said residents "panicked" when the mill caught fire.

Nayim Rahman, who lives opposite the mill, said: "It was havoc, the whole area was covered in black fog, you literally couldn't see down the road and there was an orange beam of light.

"It was crazy, it was like something out of a movie."

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze on Thursday and crews had to withdraw from inside the building due to the intense heat and safety concerns.

The priority for the fire service became preventing the blaze spreading to neighbouring buildings in the area.

People were removed from about 100 homes in Lumb Lane, Manningham Lane and Grosvenor Road and were taken to the Richard Dunn Sports Centre.

West Yorkshire Fire Service said it was a precautionary measure due to high levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2016 BBC

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