AN ICONIC mill has been razed to the ground, leaving 2,500 tonnes of rubble in its place.

Following four days of structural reports and nearly a week after fire tore through the four-storey Ivy Mills in Mill Lane, the demolition workers were finally able to move in today.

Bradford-based demolition company Thomas Crompton got the go-ahead just after 7am to make the first strike, toppling the building from one end round to the other.

Work will go on throughout the weekend to get the road re-opened as soon as possible so nearby businesses can return to normal - but it could be mid-week, said Mr Crompton.

Now the building is down, the rubble made up of stone and wood will have to be removed with as much of it being salvaged as possible.

Mr Crompton said: "Much of the stone will be crushed for aggregate on roads but there is no market for charred wood. We are working closely with Bradford Council to get the road opened again soon to eliminate disruption but we've still got lots to do. It will be about three months before the site can be handed back to our client.

"These mills jobs are specialist, they all have their challenges but this one has been particularly difficult because of its location so near to other buildings. It has taken four days of preparation until we could start with reports looking to see what it was made of and how it was built."

Fire investigators believe the blaze started accidentally in a joiner's shop in the ground floor just after 8am on Saturday, August 24.

At its peak, 12 fire crews were battling to bring the flames under control using aerial ladder platform appliances from the outside because the roof had collapsed.