Fire chiefs praise workers at Keighley mill complex who helped avert potential disaster (From Keighley News)
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Fire chiefs praise workers at Keighley mill complex who helped avert potential disaster
Fire chiefs have praised workers at an historic Keighley mill complex who helped avert a potential disaster.
People working at Dalton Mills in Dalton Lane, home to more than 20 businesses, helped move acetylene gas cylinders when a fierce blaze broke out.
“If those cylinders had gone up we could have had a disaster on our hands,” said incident commander, Alan Wood.
Chris Jackson and his son, Martin, who have a car repairs business – CJ Motors – at the site, moved cylinders and vehicles out of the mills.
“I’d been on a test drive and saw the smoke when I pulled back into the place,” said Martin.
“We got the cylinders out of the garage and moved some cars and a forklift truck.”
Firefighters were called to the mills complex late last Wednesday afternoon when an inferno broke out in an area close to buildings.
Burning waste – including plastic – sent flames shooting 30 feet into the air and thick, black smoke billowing across the town.
Initially, three fire crews – from Bingley, Silsden and Haworth – attended when the alarm was raised, at about 5.15pm.
But two further appliances, from Keighley and Shipley, and a Bradford-based aerial ladder were also brought in.
“The fire was in the open but substantial – there was a lot of heat,” said Mr Wood, a watch commander at Bingley fire station.
“It covered an area of about 50 by 30 metres. Our main concern was that it was right up against buildings, and our priority was to stop it spreading inside, which we achieved. There was very little damage within the premises.
“If the buildings had taken hold, we would have had a much more serious situation on our hands.”
Water was drawn from a hydrant in Dalton Lane and the nearby River Worth to tackle the blaze.
The crews, using three large water jets, had the fire under control within about half-an-hour but some firefighters remained at the scene into the evening damping down.
“The initial crews on the scene worked extremely hard to ensure the jets were in position as quickly as possible to help contain the fire,” Mr Wood added.
No one was injured.
Jack Croft, a caretaker at the site, praised firefighters for their speedy response.
“They did a great job,” he said. “The fire was close to spreading inside but they managed to stop it.”
Dalton Mills is owned by Bellissimo Workspace Ltd, which bought it from Magna Holdings in May. The fire service said the cause of the blaze is unknown.
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