Blaze at timber warehouse

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A fire broke out at a timber merchants in Hightown this week.

Fire crews from Cleckheaton and Batley were called out at 11.26pm on Tuesday and spent more than two hours tackling the blaze at a 30-metre-long shed at Howarth Timber in Hare Park Lane.

Although much of the stock inside was destroyed and part of the building’s asbestos roof collapsed, nobody was injured, and two vehicles housed inside the shed were also saved from damage.

Much of the wood that was housed in the shed was slow-burning hardwood, which limited the spread of the fire.

The site, which used to be Blands Timber before being taken over by Howarths, has been offering a limited service to customers, as the yard has had to be closed for the remainder of the week.

Fire investigators visited the site yesterday, and found that around 10 per cent of the roof had collapsed.

A spokeswoman said the asbestos and concrete roof had made it more difficult for crews to extinguish the blaze.

Police are now investigating, as there was no electricity supply in the shed and nobody was working on the site at the time.

Howard Perry, assistant manager at Howarth Timber, said: “We are still open for business – but we will be offering limited services. It was after we all went home, so we are just happy that nobody was around to be injured.”

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire fire and rescue service said: “We had crews at the scene for two and a half hours. The asbestos roof made tackling the blaze very difficult.”