Inferno in heart of Bradford destroys 19th century landmark


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POST-INFERNO: The burnt-out remains of Drummond Mill can be seen through the smoky air that still hangs thick in the atmosphere

POST-INFERNO: The burnt-out remains of Drummond Mill can be seen through the smoky air that still hangs thick in the atmosphere

Drummond Mill fire AFTERMATH

Bradford’s landscape may never be the same after a massive blaze fire ripped through of one of the city’s most iconic mills last week.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue crews worked through the night to contain a fire at Drummond Mill, on Lumb Lane, Manningham, on Thursday 28th January after a fire began at around 11am.

Around 100 homes had to be evacuated after the basement of the building caught fire.

The smouldering flames spread to the roof and part of the four-storey, Grade II listed four-storey property in Lumb Lane, which has since crumbled to ash.

The historic building had been turning over trade since it opened in 1886. The yarn-producing factory provided employment for an entire region.

Over 100 firefighters were battling the blaze at its peak whilst the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Mr Bitcon, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “This fire was ferocious and the intense heat at close proximity was stifling.”

On the night of the fire, some local people were taken to the safety of the Richard Dunn Sports Centre as a precautionary measure due to high levels of carbon monoxide in the air.

DRUMMOND MILL: Now only the shell of the mill remains after the Grade II listed building caught fire on Thursday

DRUMMOND MILL: Now only the shell of the mill remains after the Grade II listed building caught fire on Thursday

Councillor Ishtiaq Ahmed stayed with residents until midnight at the temporary accommodation and said the fire has caused a huge loss to the community.

“It was an iconic building, not just for Manningham but for Bradford as well,” he said. “It is part of the heritage of this city. I think most people who live around here can resonate with this building.

“Either they themselves have worked here or they have had family members or friends who have.”

Cllr Ahmed continued: “To see it go up in smoke in such tragic circumstances is devastating to be honest.

“On a positive note, it is great to see the community come together over this. The firefighters have praised the community for their spirit, for bringing out tea and samosas - and coming together.”

Firefighters’ attempts to fight the flames were initially thwarted by rain and strong winds, with officials still at the scene throughout Friday.

Yaseen Mohammed, site manager at the mill, witnessed the destruction of the mill as the fire spread.

He described it as a ‘sad day for Bradford’.

SADDENED: (l-r) Cllr Ishtiaq Ahmed and site manager Yaseen Mohammed stand in front of the devastated mill

SADDENED: (l-r) Cllr Ishtiaq Ahmed and site manager Yaseen Mohammed stand in front of the devastated mill

Yaseen continued: “The fire brigade came out quickly and from what we understand they originally thought they had it contained in the basement,” he explained. “Soon enough, it had engulfed the whole of the mill.”

He added: “We are working with the council, building inspectors and fire authorities to make sure the area is safe. That is what we are looking at. They want to demolish the mill now and get the road opened again.

“The building is an icon of Bradford and it was literally an inferno when the flames took hold. There are images all over social media and the internet over the past 24 hours – the severity of it is well documented.”

Drummond Mill is not only an iconic building for local residents. The site was extensively used as a setting in Bollywood film, ‘Welcome to Karachi’, which was partially shot in Bradford last year.

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