Inquiry needed into Dalton Mills fire in Keighley - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: John Pennington, Keighley.

I THANK Fire Commander Benjy Bush for his response (The Yorkshire Post, March 24) to my questions regarding the biggest fire for many years, namely the 1860s Grade II listed Dalton Mills in Keighley.

WY Fire Service (The Yorkshire Post, March 4) stated that 20 appliances were called out just before noon with 100 fire fighters. Commander Bush confirmed that three engines and one aerial appliance were mobilised just after midday, arriving at 12.14pm.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A fourth unit arrived at 12.28pm. Further back-up was not requested until crews had been in attendance for one hour, circa 1.15pm.

Firefighters tacking the blaze at Dalton Mills, Keighley. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Sight of the other (15) vehicles’ arrivals log and the time the incident was categorised as ‘major’ would oblige. Contact with a councillor, who is a member of the Fire Authority Committee, stated that confidentiality prevented him from releasing such information without a formal enquiry.

Read More

Read More
Dalton Mills blaze: Fire chiefs defend response to suspected arson attack at Kei...

One witness stated that the fire ‘started out only light, you could see it in one central window’. Another said it took the fire service 45 minutes to locate the flame source.

By the time additional fire fighters arrived the ground floor was well alight. Fire crews experienced difficulty in acquiring sufficient water supply – surprising with the River Worth 60 metres adjacent. When was the site last surveyed and hydrant tests undertaken in the conservation area?

Following the Bradford Nelson Street fire in the 60s WYFS, introduced a policy of containment which I believe still remains, indeed the fire officer acknowledges the thanks received from surrounding businesses and homes.

I am sorry to be pedantic but, like many, I am tired of being fobbed off by well remunerated people of authority who protect their jobs and then retire on large pensions. The fire precept increases every year. Keighley has lost a huge asset which deserved better. Questions must be asked. Let’s have that formal inquiry.

Commander Bush states he is confused by my remarks that Keighley Fire Station is not fully utilised. Put simply, why have premises with five ports to accommodate just two fire tenders?