Asbestos was discovered during a fire which broke out in a Victorian hospital building in Heaton yesterday morning.

Firefighters were called out to Daisy Bank, a building near Bradford Royal Infirmary in Duckworth Lane, at 7.15am.

A fire had broken out in a basement and, on arrival, crews from Fairweather Green and Bradford called for back-up from colleagues from Bingley, Idle and Cleckheaton stations.

A fire service spokesman said: “This is a two-storey stone building with a fire in the basement. Crews using four breathing apparatus and two hose reels to deal with the incident.”

He said they had also discovered white asbestos at the scene, so a decontamination unit from Dewsbury had also been called out.

The fire service had said the building was part of Bradford District Care Trust, but a trust spokesman said ownership had been transferred to Bradford Teaching Hospitals in November.

The building dates back to 1845 and its most recent use was as inpatient rehabilitation services for patients with mental health problems.

It has since been vacated, and plans approved to re-locate office staff from Bradford Royal Infirmary there to free up clinical space in the hospital.