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Large scale fire at business premises in Leeds overnight


Fifteen fire engines have been at a large scale fire at  Moulds Patterns and Models on Kent Road in Pudsey overnight.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received a call to the premises at 2200 hrs last night (06/02/18)

On arrival the single storey building, measuring around 60 metres by 40 metres, was well alight.

There was no-one inside and no-one has been hurt.

At the height of the incident there was 70 firefighters and officers on the scene.

A number of houses nearby were evacuated as a precaution however all residents are now back in their homes.

The fire was under control within around two hours and crews managed to prevent it from spreading to adjoining commercial buildings.

Seven fire engines remain on the scene this morning.

Incident Commander Ronnie Goldwater said: “Crews have done very well to prevent the fire from spreading, especially given that they were working in freezing temperatures through the night.

“The fire is now out but it is still smoldering and there are pockets of hotspots which crews are damping down.

“Firefighters tackled the fire from outside the building as it was unsafe to enter and the roof has now collapsed in.

“The Fire Service will be working alongside a structural engineer today to ascertain the future of the building and it is likely that crews will remain on scene for at least the next 24-hour to 48 hours.

“Whilst the roads are now open again we urge people to avoid the area to help the Fire Service deal with this incident.”

A Fire Investigation Officer will also be attending the scene today.

Valentine’s Day mill fire tragedy which claimed 17 young lives is commemorated 200 years on


West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is preparing to mark one of the most tragic fire disasters in British history, in which 17 girls and young women perished.

The Fire Service has joined with Kirkheaton Family History Group, Yetton Together Community Group and Kirkheaton Parish Church to commemorate 200 years since the Colne Bridge mill fire of February 14th, 1818.

On February 10th there will be a special memorial service at 11am at the church, where most of the victims of the fire were laid to rest, and a headstone bears the girls’ names.

The service will be attended by Chief Fire Officer, John Roberts, as well as Chair of the Fire Authority Councillor Judith Hughes and Kirklees Mayor, Christine Iredale (who both hail from Kirkheaton).

During the service a plaque will be unveiled by Kathy Butterworth, a descendant of Sarah Moody – one of the few mill workers who survived the fire.

The young cotton mill workers were all aged between nine and 18-years-old and had simply gone to work on the nightshift of Friday 13th, tragically never to return home.

The devastating blaze, which happened at Mr Atkinson’s Factory in Colne Bridge, left a shadow of sadness over the parish of Kirkheaton – where all the victims had lived – which remains even to this day as the community, including relatives of the survivors, reflect on the sombre events of two centuries ago.

The fire started when at around 5am, an 11-year-old worker was ordered by the foreman of the mill to go downstairs to collect roving’s (combed cotton twisted into strands).

It was total darkness and the boy, Jim Thornton, had just a naked candle, rather than a proper glass lamp.

The flame accidentally brushed against some loose strands of cotton, which due to being highly flammable, immediately ignited.

Upstairs the workforce continued to operate the spinning frames, unaware of the calamity beneath them.

Worker Sarah Moody spotted the fire through the wooden beamed flooring and raised the alarm, but the foreman James Sugden is said to have ordered the girls to return to work.

Brave Sarah, who was also just 11-years-old, refused and quickly escaped via the only stairway which led outside, with five others fleeing with her.  But the remaining girls had rushed in terror to the far end of the spinning room where they had huddled together and sadly perished.

Kathy Butterworth , who is the great great great granddaughter of Sarah Moody, said:  “It’s hard to contemplate what it was like for parents to have to send their children to work the night shift in a factory.

“For such a small community to lose so many of it’s young people in such a way must have been devastating. It’s sobering to reflect that, if Sarah had obeyed her boss and returned to work, I wouldn’t be here today with my sons and granddaughters.”

The young boy Jim Thornton also miraculously managed to escape before the entire building was engulfed and collapsed.

The two foremen also escaped the blaze and the factory boss Thomas Atkinson had been at his residence nearby and would be woken to the catastrophe.

Following the disaster a commemorative service in honour of the girls drew around 4,000 people from all over Huddersfield and shockwaves were sent around the nation and through parliament. The law at the time did not require an in-depth enquiry.

The development of ‘fire safety’ and the safety of people within buildings was to take a great deal longer and is still an ongoing issue today.

It was not until 1961 that the Factories Act was amended to require fire brigades to inspect and report on fire safety in these types of buildings.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “It is impossible to read about the events at the Colne Bridge cotton mill without being touched by the sadness of the terrible fate that these girls and young women met.

“We hope that by marking this tragedy we can give some comfort to the descendants of survivors, such as Sarah Moody, who lost two sisters in the fire but escaped herself.”

Fire Authority Chair, Councillor Judith Hughes added: “Being from this area, I feel a personal connection to story of the Colne Bridge mill fire having been told of the tragedy by my own family as I grew up.

“I feel it’s really important that we mark the poignant bicentenary of the disaster to ensure the young victims are remembered throughout history.

“Sadly, they were not only a victim of the fire but also a victim of their time when worker’s rights were unheard of and the dawn of fire safety legislation was still over 150 years off.

“The attempts to fight the fire would have been futile without the modern equipment we have today and as such the terrible events played out.”

Richard Heath, a local historian and researcher, added: “The commemoration of the Colne Bridge mill fire of 1818 reminds us of what must be the saddest chapter in Kirkheaton history.

“It will bring us together in the very place where 4,000 people gathered to pay their respects to the unfortunate young girls who went to work one dark Friday night – and never returned home.”

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Band will also be playing at the church service, which begins at 11am on February 10th and a fire officer will lay a wreath in memory of the girls.

A Huddersfield Trades Union Council and Unison representatives are also due to be attending the service at the church in Church Lane, Kirkheaton.

Other events have also been organised locally to mark the bicentenary.

These include:

  • A group of volunteers are working with the Canal and River Trust to produce a memorial garden on the canal bank next to the site where Atkinson’s mill stood.
  • Complimenting this is the work done by a group of schoolchildren from Salendine Nook High School under the leadership of Artist, Ged Walker. They are creating seventeen sculptured birds – one for each of the victims.
  • A memorial evening will be taking place at the Royal and Ancient pub in Colne Bridge at 7pm on Saturday, February 17.




Candle warning follow tragic house fire in Girlington, Bradford

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is reminding homeowners of the potential dangers of candles and tea lights, following a serious fire in St Leonards Road, Girlington, Bradford in the early hours of January 23.

Sadly the occupant, a woman in her 70s, died following the fire despite the best efforts of attending fire crews who rescued her from the property and attempted to revive her alongside Ambulance paramedics.

The Fire Service has carried out a fire investigation, the results of which will form part of a Coroner’s Inquest to establish cause of death.

Area Manager for Service Delivery Chris Kirby said: “Fire engines from Fairweather Green, Odsal and Bingley fire stations attended the scene following a call to our Control Room just before 03.30 hrs on Tuesday.

“Fire crews did everything they could but sadly the occupant could not be saved and our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends.

“Fire investigators have been on the scene and have established that the fire started in the ground floor lounge and we believe the most likely cause is that it has been due to candles or tealights accidentally igniting combustible items nearby.”

The circumstances surrounding the fire will be further investigated however, we would like to remind everyone of our general safety messages when using candles in the home.

  • Always place a tealight/candle on an even, non-combustible surface, in an appropriate holder.
  • Never leave a tealight/candle unattended and snuff them out properly before bed.
  • Never place a tealight/candle close to combustible items such as curtains, furniture, carpets, clothes or even hair.
  • Always keep children/pets away from tealights/candles.
  • Due to the high temperatures created and transmitted through the metal base, a tealight can burn through plastic surfaces. If it drops, for example through a TV unit, it can then ignite and quickly spread to the rest of the room.
  • Glass shelves can shatter from conducted heat.
  • Leaving a spent match or piece of paper in the tealight whilst the candle is in use can lead to an effect called ‘double wicking’. The temperature of the liquid wax increases quickly to over 300 degrees Celsius with a flame up to 6 inches.
  • Do not extinguish a tealight using water as it can create a mini chip pan effect.
  • Install a smoke detector and test it regularly.

For more information visit where you can request a free Safe and Well home visit.

Alternatively call 0800 5874536 or pop into your local fire station to enquire.

Want to join us? Now is your time to get #FirefighterFit!

With just over two months left before applications open to join West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), would-be recruits are being urged to get #FirefighterFit!

Last year was the first time WYFRS had recruited new firefighters in more than eight years, making it highly competitive. More than 7,000 people applied to attend a taster session, with more than 6,000 registering an interest to become a firefighter. After passing a number of physical, resilience, team working and empathy tests, 24 new recruits embarked on their new career on 8 January this year. If you want to follow in their footsteps and serve the public of West Yorkshire, try it for yourself at one of our awareness sessions. Visit the WYFRS’s Eventbrite site to book a place now!

Station Manager Laura Boocock, who is in charge of the recruits teams at WYFRS Headquarters, said: “Although we had an overwhelming response last year from people wanting to become a firefighter, it was quite striking how many people underestimated how tough the entry tests are.

“We pride ourselves on being a first class, modern fire and rescue service and, quite simply, we want the best of the best. If you want to become a firefighter, you have to be prepared. I’d offer the following advice:

  • Get #FirefighterFit! This isn’t just a gimmick – it’s good advice. You must work not only on your fitness, but your strength and grip strength. Follow our Instagram fitness vlog for practical advice (@wyfrs) and visit our website ( You can also contact your local fire station and ask for advice.


  • You will need mental strength. I have noticed that many people who play sports excel at this, because they have the mental resilience to push themselves in incredibly challenging situations. Those who play team sports are often great candidates, as they know how to work as a team.


  • Register for one of our taster sessions. It will give you a valuable insight into what to expect during tests and you can quiz the firefighters and instructors on what areas you need to work on.”

Laura added: “I would also urge women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to have a go! It’s unfortunate that many people see firefighters as the stereotypical macho man, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The modern fire and rescue service works on a team ethos and we value all skills, abilities, shapes, sizes and strengths. You could be extremely valuable to us and enjoy a wonderful career.”

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “This is an incredible opportunity to join our family and make a real difference. As a firefighter, you will deal with all manner of incidents, from fires to floods and rescues from height to Road Traffic Collisions. You will also spend a great deal of time in the community, giving safety advice to the most vulnerable people to keep them safe and well. If you are thinking of applying, don’t waste the opportunity – make sure you are prepared and book onto one of our awareness days.”

Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “I hope this year we can inspire more women to apply for what is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career.

“All our firefighters are ordinary people who do an extraordinary job. There are many opportunities to specialise and to rise up the ranks if you are successful. Start preparing now if you want to apply!”

For the most up-to-date information about applying, visit or follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter @WYFRS. You can also keep track of events in your area by following our district accounts:

CM Laura Smith, who is co-ordinating recruitment activities, can also be contacted via Twitter at @WYFRSLauraS

Good luck!

Fire crew attacked in Bradford yesterday evening leading to fresh condemnation from Chiefs

Firefighters who were called to deal with a rubbish fire on a green area in Warrenton Place, Bradford, yesterday evening, had a glass bottle thrown at them and a brick was hurled at the fire engine.

A crew from Bradford Fire Station was called to deal with a rubbish fire in the open after the Control Room received a call at 17.45 hrs on (08/01/18).

The firefighters put out the fire and proceeded to put equipment back on the fire engine, preparing to leave.

Firefighter John Mellor, who has worked at Bradford Fire Station since 1993, was on shift and was winding up the hose.

He said: “I was bent down when a large bottle came across and smashed on the ground in front of me.

“A brick hit the fire engine windscreen and two youths ran off.

“Fortunately I was not hurt and the fire engine was not damaged but I realise I was lucky. It’s a real shame that firefighters have to face this kind of aggressive behaviour when they are simply trying to help keep communities safe.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is running an ongoing campaign called More Than a Uniform to put across the message that attacks on firefighters are completely unacceptable and must stop.

The campaign focused on the Bonfire period, however, attacks on crews continued in December.

Fire Chiefs and Police also signed a pledge to do everything possible to stop these kind of mindless attacks.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “Any attack on firefighters, or indeed any emergency service personnel, is completely deplorable and I find it frustrating that we are now starting the New Year with continued attacks on our crews.

“We strenuously support the Protect the Protectors bill going through parliament which we hope will see harsher penalties brought in for attacks on emergency service personnel. We anticipate this will become statute later this year which will hopefully act as a deterrent for this kind of mindless behaviour.”

Chief Inspector Paula Bickerdike, of Bradford District Police, said:

“Police are aware of the incident and will be speaking with the fire service with a view to making further enquiries.”

Fire investigation continues in Rastrick

Fire crews were called to a property in Smith Crescent, Rastrick, Brighouse, at 19.30 hrs on December 18.

Fire engines from Rastrick and Huddersfield attended. A fire at the property was confirmed out on arrival of crews.

The bodies of a man and woman were found inside the property.

A fire investigation officer attended the scene today to look into the circumstances around the fire.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is working alongside West Yorkshire Police as enquiries continue.

At this time, the deaths are being treated as unexplained.

Update on cause of mill fire in Bradford overnight

Fire investigation officers have visited Rebecca Street in Bradford today following a major mill fire overnight.

The fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

Crews were called to the fire shortly after 03.30 hrs this morning (19/12/17)

Fire crews left the scene at 17.10 hrs today.



Man dies following house fire in Baildon overnight

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is saddened to confirm that a man has died following a house fire in Baildon overnight.

Fire crews were called to an address in Central Avenue, Baildon, just before 02.30 hrs this morning (19/12/17).

This was a domestic property and crews extinguished a small fire in the kitchen.

Crews gave emergency first aid to a gentleman at the address however he sadly later died.

Fire engines from Shipley, Bingley and Bradford attended.

A neighbour was alerted to the fire by their own smoke alarm sounding and called the Fire Service.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby said: “Fire crews did everything possible to save the 70-year-old gentleman and our deepest condolences go to his family at this particularly sad time.

“There was a small fire in the kitchen and a detailed fire investigation will continue today to ascertain the cause, however we do not believe it to be suspicious.

“This tragedy reminds us all of the importance of having smoke alarms in our homes which give an early warning of fire and time to safely escape your property.”

Fire crews have worked incredibly hard through the night to contain and extinguish a serious mill fire in Bradford

The fire in Rebecca Street, Bradford, started in the basement of the mill which was being used to store tyres.

The Control Room received a call at 03.38 hrs today (19/12/17) and in total 15 fire engines attended the scene.

The fire quickly spread through the building into the roof, but firefighters contained the blaze to one section of the building and in doing so saved a number of other commercial properties.

There was no-one inside the mill, which comprises of four storeys, and no-one has been injured.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Chris Kirby was on the scene throughout the early hours.

He said: “Fire crews have dealt effectively with the fire overnight and the incident has now been scaled down to three fire engines with firefighters remaining in attendance to ensure any pockets of fire are extinguished.”

Fire investigation will be on scene today and working alongside our colleagues at West Yorkshire Police to determine the cause.

Mr Kirby added: “The economic impact of a serious fire on businesses is significant and it is rare that a business re-opens following a serious fire.

“Sadly the section of the mill that has been heavily involved in fire is badly damaged but due to the swift actions of crews we have managed to save a large proportion of the building and reduce the detrimental economic impact this fire could have had.”

Police pledge their support to Fire Service in stand against attacks on crews

West Yorkshire Police (WYP) is standing shoulder to shoulder with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) in a commitment to stopping attacks on firefighters and taking every action possible to catch those responsible of such mindless behaviour.

During November, Police have already begun trialing training days with firefighters on recognising the signs of public order and how to defuse potentially volatile situations.

This follows Bonfire Night 2017 which saw 16 recorded attacks on fire crews across West Yorkshire as they tried to keep people and property safe.

Watch below fire engine video footage of firework narrowly missing Firefighter Jack Furbisher on November 5


Watch below video footage of attack on Halifax’s fire engine on November 5


Today Chief Police Officers have furthered their support in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WYFRS Chief Fire Officers (pictured right) to ensure the two blue light services are working as efficiently as possible together to crackdown on perpetrators.

Verbal and physical abuse towards firefighters whilst in the course of their employment has been on a steady rise across West Yorkshire for the last five years, with a particular spike in the last two years (see full figures at end).

Headline figures

  • Nine attacks on Halloween (Oct 31st)
  • Between November 1st and 6th this year there were 20 attacks recorded
  • Four attacks recorded during the rest of November and four in December to date.

The worst attacks are generally characterised by the throwing of stones or fireworks towards firefighters or fire engines.

This year WYFRS launched a publicity campaign called More Than A Uniform to appeal to people’s conscience and highlight the fact that the people behind the uniform are only human, with families, personal lives and dependants.

In the latest move, we have established a Memorandum of Understanding with West Yorkshire Police which will ensure fast and effective reporting, investigation and, where possible, prosecution, following an attack on a member of Fire Service staff.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “It is a sad reality that our firefighters are being attacked whilst going about the course of their work protecting people and property.

“Whilst the attacks are commonly around the Bonfire season, they have continued since then and are happening all year round.

“The Police are equally as appalled by this as us and we welcome their backing in condemning these attacks and ensuring that together we capture the best evidence and do everything we can to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Chair of the Fire Authority Councillor Judith Hughes said: “In response to the attacks on our crews the Fire Service set up a working group to look at ways we could best prevent this kind of senseless behaviour.

“We have run a high profile publicity campaign to raise awareness of the issue and we hope this will encourage communities to stand with us against these attacks and spread the message that they are not acceptable.

“Our campaign has had backing of our local MPs, two of whom accompanied crews on a Bonfire weekend shift to see just what crews face.

“I would like to thank both Judith Cummins MP and Holly Lynch MP for giving up their time to see first -hand what our emergency service personnel have to endure around the Bonfire period, and we hope this experience will help them  to advocate for our emergency services in the House of Commons.”

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “The emergency services risk their lives to protect the public and it is totally unacceptable that they should be subject to assault and attack.

“In signing this MOU, we want to send a message to the public that this is intolerable.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is also strongly in support of the MOU, which has been signed at a Tri Service Collaboration Workshop at Fire Service Headquarters in Birkenshaw.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “As joint Chair of the Tri-Services (Police, Fire & Ambulance) Collaboration Board, I know the incredible job that emergency workers do running towards danger as they try to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

“I know the importance of agreeing this MOU is to ensure a process and expectations are in place on both sides to make sure those committing these despicable attacks on our emergency workers face the consequences because the relevant evidence has been gathered that gives the best possible chance of a prosecution where necessary.

“Perpetrators need to consider the recklessness of their actions and know that they will rightly face strong action and possible prosecution, this MOU goes a long way to ensuring this happens and I was keen for our Tri-Services Collaboration to make this statement of intent.”

Firefighter Jack Furbisher of Cleckheaton Fire Station’s Green Watch is the Firefighter who narrowly avoids being hit by a firework (see first link to footage).

It happened on a very busy Bonfire Night 2017 when the crew attended a fire in the open containing wood and tyres in the Beeston area.

Jack (pictured right) said: “There was a big group of teenagers and straight away, with it being that time of year, it’s in the back of your mind.

“I had only got off the wagon 30 seconds prior.

“I jumped a bit. Thankfully it did not hit me square in the chest it could have been a lot worse.

“It’s one of those mindless things that unfortunately we see now and again and it does seem to get worse at that time of year because it’s dark and fireworks are readily available.

“It’s not a nice situation to find yourself in – then you spend the rest of the incident with one mind on the job and one mind looking over your back or your mate’s back.

“I think the firework was about half a foot from me and exploded behind me. Had I been a foot either side it could have been a different story.”

Andy Horsley is another Fire Service employee who knows what it’s like to come under attack.

The Watch Commander who works at Odsal Fire Station and has almost 25 years under his belt in the Fire Service.

Andy (pictured right) was accompanying Bradford South MP Judith Cummins on the evening of Saturday, November 4, when she spent an evening with Police and fire crews.

During the evening, Andy and the MP attended a bonfire where fireworks were fired at them by a group.

And only recently on December 1, Andy was part of a crew attending a fire involving wheelie bins alight at the rear of a youth centre in Bradford District when a brick was thrown at the fire engine.

Andy said: “These are senseless attacks that just make our job that much more difficult. As a Watch Commander I have the safety of my crew to think about at any fire we attend and this just adds an unwanted dimension that you could do without.

“I struggle to understand it – I just don’t get it.”


November 5th for each year

District Attacks on firefighters
Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Bradford 10 10 6 6 6 4
Calderdale 2 4 1 1 1 0
Kirklees 1 1 1 5 0 0
Leeds 3 4 2 0 2 3
Wakefield 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 16 19 10 12 9 7