The head of developer Skipton Properties has angrily hit out at accusations linking his firm with the devastating fire at Ebor Mill in Haworth.

In an exclusive statement to the Keighley News, managing director Brian Verity spoke out after Internet allegations about his company. He also denied claims the housing developer was involved with mill fires in the Worth Valley.

Fire investigators are still investigating the cause of the blaze that gutted the Ebor Lane mill.

Keighley police earlier this week said: “At the present time the fire is not being treated as suspicious.”

Tim Parkinson, chairman of Airedale Springs which owned the factory, also acted to quash arson rumours.

The top three floors of the five-storey mill were destroyed despite the efforts of more than 70 firefighters over several hours.

Demolition work on the rest of the mill began on Monday after safety inspectors condemned the entire building.

Mr Verity took action after learning that a video was circulating on the YouTube website linking the company to the fire.

Skipton Properties has been involved in several mill conversion projects across the Worth Valley, including the giant Grove Mills redevelopment at Ingrow.

In 2008 Skipton Properties successfully applied for planning permission to turn Ebor Mills into 102 flats and 18 houses.

The company negotiated with Airedale Springs — which owns the mill — for it to move to Bridgehouse Mill, in Haworth.

Airedale Springs boss Mr Parkinson this week said the potential deal died almost two years ago with the recession and the collapse of the housing market. He said there had not been any discussion between the two companies for well over a year.

Mr Verity approached the Keighley News with his statement. In it he said: “I was staggered on Monday morning to read of the catastrophic fire at Ebor Mills, which I read the details of on the Keighley News website.”

The next day Mr Verity discovered his company’s name had been linked to the incident — and two other fires — through a film on YouTube.

He said: “I find these accusations appalling and that anyone could think that we would be involved in not only the destruction of a beautiful mill but also in the potential loss of 40 jobs. Skipton Properties has never used illegal practices, unpopular yes but illegal no.

“Whoever is writing this rubbish about our involvement has suggested we were involved in the arson attack at Bridgehouse Mills. We involved the police, we know who did it but could not prove it.

“As to Oakworth Mills, this was burnt many years before our purchase of this mill, we rebuilt it as it was before the fire, whoever did burn it burned the wrong section of the mill.”