INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into separate fires which ravaged two Bradford businesses, as one begins demolition work and the other restarts production at a different site.

Gordon Rhodes and Son’s and Simba Smoby Toys were badly hit by intense blazes at their sites earlier this month.

Gordon Rhodes & Son, a family food seasoning company, has now restarted production at a different site after the blaze damaged its headquarters in the Eurocam Technology Park, in West Bowling.


The fire started in the company’s warehouse, used to store flour, spices, seeds, and herbs, completely destroying the warehouse and causing extensive damage to the adjoining offices.

However, this week, the firm began production again at a unit in Dick Lane. The company has sourced new production and warehousing units, equipment, ingredients and offices space, and is working 24 hours a day to meet customer demand. The first customer orders were sent out at the start of this week. Production itself restarted just nine days after the fire, which happened on Wednesday, August 9.

Ian Rhodes, senior director, said: “I am so proud of the business. We have shown complete resilience and come back from the brink of disaster fighting. To have orders being delivered to customers after only seven working days since the fire shows our customers that we will do anything to ensure that they receive the highest levels of customer service that they have come to expect from working with our company. The staff have all been outstanding and they have worked incredibly hard to get this turned around in such a short amount of time.”

Mr Rhodes added that he understood the investigation into the fire was still ongoing.

Meanwhile, police have re-appealed for information following a major fire at a toy manufacturers, as demolition crews move on-site. The fire took hold at Simba Smoby Toys, on the edge of the city centre, and at its height was being tackled by more than 60 firefighters from across the district. The area that saw the worst of the fire, part of a storage building off Hall Lane, had almost entirely collapsed, and the road had been closed to traffic following the incident at around 5am on Saturday, August 5.

The probe has now been passed from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to the county’s police, who have issued a renewed witness appeal. Representatives from Gill Demolitions, also based on Hall Lane, are on-site to knock down the affected structure.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Enquiries are continuing into this fire. Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area around that time, or who may be able to assist the investigation is asked to contact Bradford District CID on 101, quoting crime reference number 13170360718, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.”

Representatives of Simba Smoby Toys declined to comment on the incident when contacted by the Telegraph & Argus.