With explosive force Bradford’s John Street Market burst into flames on November 4, 1977, destroying dozens of stalls, ten large shops and cafes and severely damaging Morrisons Supermarket.

Many of the shops and stalls were already loaded with extra Christmas stock, taking the damage figure to well over £1m. When the first fire crews arrived most of the stalls were beyond saving and it soon became a desperate battle to stop the flames spreading to other shops surrounding the market perimeter.

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Reinforcements were called in from Halifax, Leeds, Keighley and Rawdon in attempt to save the nine-year-old market. At the height of the blaze nearly 150 firemen were manning the fire with more than 20 machines.

One rescue made by firemen at the market was of a black and white cat which kept the mice down at one of the market cafes.

The cause of the fire remained a mystery, as a full report into the blaze was never completed. The main theory was that candles lit during a power cut on the eve of the fire had ignited other material and smouldered for hours, away from the gaze of night Watchmen.