BOSSES at an award-winning family food seasoning company left devastated by a huge fire at its warehouse in Bradford have vowed to keep it running.

More than 20 fire crews from across West Yorkshire were called to the inferno, at Gordon Rhodes & Son Ltd in Chase Way on the Eurocam Technology Park.

The crews were called shortly after 10pm on Wednesday, and were faced with a large blaze in a building used to store flour, seeds, herbs, and spices.

Firefighters from Odsal, Bradford, Cleckheaton, Stanningley, Shipley, Keighley, Bingley, Fairweather Green, Rastrick, Halifax, Leeds, Moortown, Cookridge, Dewsbury, Killingbeck, Hunslet, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Ilkley were involved in the operation to put it out.

Appliances remained on the scene throughout yesterday.

The warehouse was still smouldering and coughing up clouds of smoke while firefighters doused the embers using an aerial platform.

The fire caused extensive damage to the building, destroying the warehouse roof which had collapsed and also damaged neighbouring offices, causing a number of the first floor windows to be blown out.

Hoses snaked the length of the industrial estate funnelling water to the scene, and the operation also caused lengthy traffic jams and delays on nearby roads.

The firm's senior director Ian Rhodes thanked the fire service for its work overnight, and said a contingency plan was being put in place to keep the business operating.

He said: “We would like to thank the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service for its quick response and courageous help and support in this matter.

“The support from local businesses in the area has been fantastic and we are truly grateful. We would also like to thank our loyal customers for their kind words and would like to reassure them that we are striving to be back up and running as quickly as possible.

“A business contingency plan is being put in place that will allow us to continue to trade and support our customer’s needs with the same level of service and quality that they have come to expect from Gordon Rhodes & Son.

“Thankfully there were no members of staff in the building at the time of the fire.”

The first firefighters at the scene were from Odsal station.

Watch commander Phil Warden said the fire developed “quite rapidly”.

He said: “When we arrived the fire had taken hold of the main warehouse.

“It developed quite rapidly because it was in a tin-cladded structure which hampered initial firefighting.

“The structure was unsafe so we had to evacuate from around the building, and police closed off the road for us.

“Crews are still in attendance this morning dampening down, and once the structure was safe the fire investigation team could go in and start digging around.”

West Yorkshire Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said yesterday: “The fire overnight in Bradford has been incredibly challenging for crews who worked tirelessly to try to prevent it from spreading.

“However, as the building is now structurally unsafe we will not put them at any risk by sending crews inside.”

The business, which was founded in 2011, produces sauce mixes, food rubs, and stuffing mixes, along with a variety of meat seasonings.

Earlier this week, it picked up two Great Taste Awards for its new hot rubs.

The awards, some of the most coveted in the food and drink industry, were awarded to its Smouldering Hot Rub with Chipotle Chilli, and its Flaming Hot Rub with Scotch Bonnet Chilli, which both received one star.

Other awards it has picked up in the last six years include the 2012 Deliciously Yorkshire Best Innovation Award, 2013/14 CoolBrand status, and a gold star at the 2014 Great Taste Awards for its bread sauce mix.

Its gluten-free version of its bread sauce mix is also up for a prize in the gluten-free category at this year’s Great British Food Awards.

Earlier this year, the Chipotle Chilli hot rub and the Scorching Hot Rub with Habanero Chilli picked up silver and bronze awards at the FreeForm Awards.