CANNABIS FARM UNCOVERED: The empty shop on Thornton Road was the scene of a major fire in the early hours of the morning
Up to 15 firefighters from Bradford and Fairweather Green stations were on hand to battle a fierce blaze at an empty shop in Thornton Road.
The fire, at around 3.30am on 12th June, is believed to have been caused by faulty wiring after the electric meter was bypassed. The flames from the incident grew to such a severe size they were visible from outside the shop.
Two hours after they arrived, the shop was declared safe following which crew found the cellar and first floor packed with young and mature cannabis plants.
Crew manager Mick Mawson also added: “The door had been left wide open we didn't even need to break in. Whoever it was had done a runner before we got there. Someone had been living there, there was a sleeping bag.
"It was all set up with a feed and watering system as well as lights but the wiring was dodgy. The place was also full of air fresheners to try and throw people off the scene.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Officers have completed their enquiries at the premise and have recovered a number of plants for further investigation.
"It is believed there were as many as 500 plants in the building, but many of these were destroyed by the fire which is believed to have broken out in the early hours of Monday.
"Our enquiries are continuing and we would ask for anyone who may have seen any recent suspicious activity around the building to contact the Bradford City Area Neighbourhood Team on 101, quoting crime reference 13170266226.
"Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service are urging Muslim communities to take extra care ahead of one of the most important periods in the Islamic calendar.
Bosses fear people are more likely to be at risk of fire during Ramadan, which is now underway until 25 June.
Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said:
“We recognise this is a really important time in the Islamic calendar, but want to make sure people observe it safely.
“In particular, people should take extra care to keep an eye on their cooking, as fasting could leave you feeling tired and more likely to become distracted or have an accident.
“Smoke alarms are the best way of making sure that if a fire does occur, you have the vital extra minutes to escape. So make sure smoke alarms are fitted on every level of your home and test them regularly.
“It’s also vital that if the smoke alarm do sound, everyone in the house knows what to do and knows how to escape, so talk this through with your family and loved ones.”
Recommended to stay safe during Ramadan:
Half of all house fires start in the kitchen, so take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oil – it sets alight easily.
Never throw water on a burning pan – in the event of a fire get out, stay out and call 000.
Take extra care with clothing – make sure hijaabs, shalwar, kameez and saris are kept well away from the hob.
Plan escape routes – and make sure every member of your family knows it well.
Have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home- test them weekly to make sure they work.
A team of four firefighters from the UK travelled almost 4,000 miles last month as they embarked on a unique visit to Pakistan and helped establish a new educational link between the two countries.
Spearheaded by the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA), members of AFSA visited the South Asian country for five days with the aim of providing advice and recommendations on ways to improve the country’s current fire service.
TRAINING: Members of the Punjab Rescue showed their current training drills to the four visitors who offered recommendations and advice on ways to improve performance
A fact finding visit saw the team experience, first hand, how the Punjab Rescue team is currently run, with everything from training, to medical responses covered.
Muhammad Ali, Kirklees District Prevention Manager, was one member of the group who took part in the visit, and although he says it was ‘exhausting’, he added that it was ‘definitely worthwhile’.
“The work we were doing over there was crucial in helping to ensure the country’s fire service is continually improving,” he said.
“We covered so much in such a short space of time that at points we were doing 12 or 14 hour shifts in the heat, but now we have the information it was definitely worthwhile.
“This first visit was about finding out the facts. We needed to see first-hand how everything was run and then take all this information back to the UK to analyse and provide recommendations.
“We are now looking at how to further develop this programme and hopefully make the trip a regular thing.”
The group signed a memorandum of understanding with the Punjab Rescue group before leaving, which reaffirmed both parties commitment to the newly formed partnership.
VISIT: The four team members from AFSA were warmly welcomed by men and women from Punjab Rescue, where they worked for five days last month
Activities such as tower training, reviewing fire engine specifications and simulation designs at the soon-to-be-launched academy, were just some of the undertakings the British representatives partook in, whilst Muhammad also helped host a lecture at Lahore University for aspiring architects in regard to fire protection advice.
Advice and recommendation was given on the spot by the AFSA representatives at points and changes were even made in front of their own eyes.
“When we were looking through plans for the new fire tower training facility for example, one of our members pointed out a few recommendations which were immediately undertaken,” Muhammad said.
“It was great to see them responding in such a positive manner because they wanted to learn.”
He added: “When the group returns, I believe a large focus will be on the community unit, as that was one area which was highlighted for improvements. We need to get more information out to schools and colleges but that is something that will hopefully be brought up next time.
“It is now just a job of looking through all our information and finding the best way forward.”
A team of English firefighters are set to embark on a different type of challenge later this year as they attempt to extinguish any bad habits that exist within the Pakistan Fire Service.
Spearheaded by the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA), a group of between five and seven volunteers will head out to South Asia in April on a fact finding mission to build up a clear picture of what needs improving in Pakistan.
The team will visit the Punjab, an area which has some of the best access to fire stations in the country, for a short visit to better understand the current level of performance.
FIREFIGHTER: Kirklees District Prevention Manager, Mohammed Ali, will act as Project Manager for the team of English Fire Service representatives who will visit Pakistan in April
With a number of factory fires tearing down buildings in the country recently, alongside the 2013 earthquake, fire prevention and disaster management will be top of the agenda for the crew.
Kirklees District Prevention Manager, Mohammed Ali, was selected as Project Manager for the trip and has regularly visited the country in the past.
Alongside members of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Lancashire FRS and Tyne and Wear FRS, he will visit the country in the Spring to begin work on the Punjab Project.
The 40-year-old Bradford resident was proud to join the initiative and hopes it will be a long-term project which will expand into further areas in Pakistan.
Explaining why he got involved with the Punjab Rescue project, Mohammed said: “From the first time I heard about the project I was very interested in not only being able to utilise my skills but also help others.
“Here in West Yorkshire we have many ethnic minority residents with families over in the Punjab and Kashmir areas, I myself am from Kashmir.
“Seeing people die in these areas through fire, because the wrong infrastructure, or no infrastructure, is in place to deal with emergency, gives me that bit more motivation to go out there and help. If we help save one life, we have succeeded.”
Mohammed has been with the fire service for more than ten years yet has never been involved with such a pioneering project. Alongside representatives from fire stations up and down the country, he will be one of the first people tasked with building the relations between the two countries.
As well as ‘looking forward’ to embarking on the trip, he explained what the team would exactly be doing during the first visit.
“What we will do when we are out there, amongst other things, is a risk assessment,” he said. “We will look at different parts of the operational side, record the findings, come back here and review where the current standard is at, what needs improving and how best to advance.
“We want to ensure that their fire crews are operating at an international level, so hopefully we will build a training package around what needs improving and then send out another team in September or October who can then start to implement and deliver what we have agreed on.”
He added: “Eventually it would be great if we could send over resources for these trained staff to use, and then even roll out the project into other areas of the country.”
To fund the trip, a special evening of entertainment is planned to take place on 14th March at the Aagrah Midpoint Restaurant, Bradford, which will act as a fundraising effort for the cause, as well as an Africa expedition project and Waterwell project.
Singer/songwriter, Husnain Lahori, is set to headline the night, with food also served up from the famous Aagrah kitchen.
Tickets cost just £20 and can be purchased by contacting,
Mohammed Ali, on 07890 543 350, or Mehrban Sadiq on 07500 888 579.