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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Nadeem Badshah

100 firefighters tackle blaze at mill used to film Peaky Blinders

Firefighters tackle blaze
West Yorkshire fire and rescue were called to the scene just before midday on Thursday. Photograph: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service/PA

More than 100 firefighters are tackling a fire at a historic mill in West Yorkshire used as a filming location for television series including Peaky Blinders and Downton Abbey.

Flames and black smoke could be seen in the air above Dalton Mills, a Grade II-listed building, in Dalton Lane, Keighley. There are no reports of any injuries.

West Yorkshire fire and rescue service said 20 pumps were sent to the 19th century building just before noon and all of the complex has been affected by flames.

The fire service advised people living nearby to keep windows and doors closed and to avoid travelling through the area because of the smoke.

Nick Smith, from West Yorkshire fire and rescue service, described dealing with the blaze as “challenging”. He said: “Internally the building has collapsed, the floor and the roof.”

Smith added the incident was being scaled back but firefighters would spend the night damping down the fire.

Bradford council had opened The Leisure Centre in Keighley on Thursday afternoon to provide shelter for residents affected.

The building, constructed in 1869, was previously believed to be the largest textile mill in Yorkshire which employed more than 2,000 workers.

It has also been used as a filming location for The Great Train Robbery and 2016 film The Limehouse Golem starring Bill Nighy.

Richard Knight, from Screen Yorkshire, described the fire as “a sad loss to the Yorkshire film-making landscape”. He told the BBC: “It’s one of those amazing locations that is like a destination in its own right.

“It’s got the kind of provenance and scale that could attract film-makers from far and wide.”

The site fell into disrepair before being partially restored and taken off English Heritage’s at-risk register in 2015.

In 2011 on New Year’s Day, the former textile mill suffered a huge fire which was being treated as suspicious by investigators.

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