Leeds & West Yorkshire

Fire breaks out at derelict Bradford mill

A derelict mill in Bradford city centre was believed to be on the verge of collapse in a fire.

Ten fire crews were called to tackle the fire off Thornton Road, near the junction with Tetley Street, at about 18:20 BST.

They could not get inside the five-storey mill because the building was unsafe.

At 02:40 BST West Yorkshire fire service said crews remained at the scene damping down.

No one was thought to have been injured, although surrounding roads were closed for safety reasons.

Safety 'paramount'

Steve Rhodes, from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire was "extensive" and quickly "engulfed the whole of the mill".

He said the first priority for the 50 firefighters involved was to make sure the blaze did not spread to other buildings and a nearby multi-storey car park.

He said: "It's very, very difficult to gain access because the fire took hold very, very quickly and it spread to all five floors.

Image caption Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to other city centre buildings. Picture by Min Deng.

"Once the floors collapse the walls are standing without support and we have had walls collapsing on the front of the building and obviously we have got to firefight from farther away and we can't get very near to the fire.

"Firefighter safety is paramount at this time."

Mr Rhodes said fire investigation teams were at the scene and were talking to witnesses in an attempt to uncover the cause of the fire.

Student Rachel Hughes, who saw the mill's roof fall down, said: "It was the largest noise, like thunder.

"Everyone was running towards the smoke to see what it was. It smelt strong and you could feel the heat a way away.

"We watched the fire for about half an hour and then the roof fell down. It was the largest noise, like thunder.

"There were firefighters and police everywhere, and security was there making sure we weren't getting too close."

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