Keighley blaze latest: firefighters battled for three hours to stop inferno spreading

Keighley News: Incident commander Andy Newman at the scene Incident commander Andy Newman at the scene

Around 70 firefighters from across the district tackled the inferno in the Lawkholme area of Keighley this morning.

They battled for several hours to stop the blaze, in a three-storey building, spreading to adjacent houses.

A shop unit, snooker hall and disused industrial area are all within the fire-hit premises, which have been severely damaged.

Incident commander Andy Newman said firefighters have been unable to enter the building due to its dangerous state.

Structural engineers are in attendance.

Police evacuated residents from houses close to the scene of the blaze, in Grange Street, as a precaution and the nearby Asda supermarket opened up its canteen facilities.

Fire crews from Keighley, Haworth and Bingley were called out just after 4am, following a number of emergency calls from the public.

That was then increased to six appliances from across the district, plus an aerial ladder.

“When the first crews arrived the building was well alight,” said Mr Newman.

“It took about three hours to bring the fire under control and we managed to prevent it spreading into the snooker hall, although there is smoke and water damage to that area.

“The rest of the building collapsed very quickly.

“We also positioned water jets to stop the fire affecting the neighbouring houses.”

He said fire investigators were at the scene, but until it was safe to enter the building an investigation into the cause couldn’t begin.

He added that firefighters are likely to be there for much of the day damping down.

A large area of Lawkholme was sealed off to traffic, but parts of the cordon have now been lifted.

The blaze comes just hours before members of the Fire Brigades Union are due to stage their latest strike in a row over pensions.

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