Factories, shops and industrial units were evacuated after firefighters discovered an acetylene cylinder in a burning building.

Hundreds of workers from several businesses were forced to wait outside a 150-metre exclusion zone set up by crews monitoring the cylinder in case it exploded.

About 30 firefighters were called to engineering firm ATB Morley, based at Fullerton Works, in Fullerton Street, off Leeds Road, Bradford, at about 9.20am yesterday.

The exclusion zone was reduced to 50 metres later in the afternoon.

Watch commander Roger Binns, of Bradford fire station, said an acetylene cylinder had been found in the fire.

Crews continued to assess the heat of the cylinder as it cooled throughout the day, reducing the risk of explosion.

Mr Binns said it was not yet known how the fire started, but preliminary inquiries pointed to it being accidental.

Janusz Licznerski, owner of the Prima Continental Bakery in Buck Street, Bradford, said his business could have lost up to £1,000 after having to halt production. He said: “We are going to have all production from the night wasted probably.

“We have all the goods ready and waiting to go in the oven and we have no access to go in there, so unfortunately all the night production is going to be wasted.”

Graham Lund, owner of Mr Crusty sandwich shop, on the junction of Buck Street and Hammerton Street, said firefighters walked into his shop during morning trade and ordered everybody to leave.

He said: “They said there was some gas bottles that might set alight. I was just hoping that they could open it up as soon as possible.”

  • Read the full story in Thursday's T&A