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Office block destroyed in blaze at derelict Denholme mill
A three-storey office block was destroyed during a fire at a derelict Denholme timber mill early yesterday morning.
The blaze at the former CR Taylor (Timber) premises on Station Road spread to an adjoining warehouse.
Crews from Keighley, Haworth, Bingley, Illingworth and Fairweather Green stations spent several hours fighting the fire.
Water had to be pumped from the main road through Denholme, but firefighters also used specialist vehicles and equipment from Stanningley and Garforth.
Fire investigators were yesterday looking into the cause of the blaze.
A neighbour claimed that youths regularly used the empty timber yard and buildings as a playground and motorbike track.
The premises closed last summer after family-run firm CR Taylor, which had operated in Denholme since 1960, was forced out of business due to the recession.
Firefighters were called soon after 3.30am yesterday after nearby residents in Station Road saw flames rising from the complex.
Station Commander Mick Davis, who led the operation, said that when crews arrived they discovered the office block “fully alight”.
He said: “It spread to a single-storey area and we managed to stop it spreading any further.”
A Station Road resident said he had alerted the fire brigade after his wife had heard “mini explosions” from the site.
He said: “I went out for a look, and it was obviously a serious fire. The flames were above the trees.”
The man, who did not want to be named, said that in recent weeks youths had regularly broken into the Taylor premises and ridden motorbikes around the yard.
He said: “We’ve had police down, kids nicking stuff. There are kids who think it’s a great playground, and others who think that now it’s abandoned they can play on their motorbikes.”
Twenty-five jobs were lost in June when bosses at CR Taylor (Timber) Ltd decided they had no option but to put the business into administration.
The company had suffered from the economic downturn.
Part of the business, a successful cash-and-carry timber depot in Thornton Road, was sold to former chairman Charles Taylor as a going concern.