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Cricket club fans help stop fire at Idle paper warehouse
Cricket club revellers saved a paper supplies warehouse – after spotting smoke and dialling 999.
A number of calls were made to emergency services as thick smoke billowed from RS Crooke’s paper Supplies premises in Bradford Road, Idle, at 10.40pm on Saturday.
A fire crew from Idle was first on the scene but had to get back-up from four other stations and an aerial appliance to tackle the incident, using two large water jets and breathing apparatus.
Watch commander Michael Kilburn praised crews for working in challenging circumstances, finding their way through dense black smoke to track down when the fire had started. About ten per cent of the steel-clad building was involved.
Mr Kilburn said: “We’d had quite a number of calls from the public, there was a cricket club nearby. When we got there we made it up to five pumps, there were about 25 firefighters on the scene at its peak.
“The building was full of racking and dense, black smoke so our crews had to work their way through it to find the seat of the fire.
“Eventually it was tracked to a couple of pallets of paper. The crews did a great job, they were quick and sharp. Getting the phone calls in from the public helped. Any longer and the whole place could have gone up.”
The warehouse owners were on site and were able to open the rollershutters for crews, a number of vehicles parked inside were saved and forklifts were used to bring out salvaged supplies.
Mr Kilburn said: “The damage was minimal, really. Not much stock had gone but there was some damage to the steel work in the building and there’s a big hole in the roof. It could have been a lot worse.”
Members of Idle Cricket Club in Cavendish Road had gone out to see what was happening after smelling smoke. A woman who was working at the nearby club, but did not want to be named, said: “There was black smoke everywhere, it was just billowing out.
“The club wasn’t busy at the time. Some of them went out to have a look and rang 999, it looked really bad.” Fire investigators are continuing to look for clues to what started the fire and the police have been informed.
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