Forty years ago, a dramatic fire destroyed the former Debenham’s department store in Manningham Lane, Bradford, leaving the listed Victorian building in a heap of smouldering rubble.

Nearly 100 firemen from all over West Yorkshire has been called to tackle the blaze as thousands gathered to watch the smoke and flames billow high above the city centre in one of the fiercest blazes since John Street Market was destroyed in 1977.

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At the height of the blaze a third of the facade had crashed into Manningham Lane, hurling huge chunks of masonry across the road.

The listed building – once the famous Busbys department store – was the subject of a £4.5 million deal and was awaiting redevelopment by the Tesco chain to convert the store into a supermarket.