No way through as factory fire rages

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FIRE crews were prevented from fighting a fire at a disused factory when their path was blocked by a skip.

Three engines were called to the blaze at the former Monoplas Industries site on Badger Lane, Hipperholme, on Friday.

However, when they arrived at 2.30pm they discovered that the access road to the site was blocked by a large skip, which they were unable to move.

Firefighters from Illingworth and Halifax had to carry heavy pumps and hoses almost a mile along the narrow country lane so they could start to tackle the blaze.

Around a quarter of a single storey building was affected by the fire and smoke was billowing from the roof when crews arrived.

Water had to be pumped from the Sunny Vale lake to stop the fire from spreading to the surrounding areas.

The fire aerial appliance from Bradford was also called to assist in the incident.

Engines were finally able to gain access to the road 30 minutes later when the skip hiring truck was called and removed the container.

It is not known how the fire was started but the cause is being investigated.

Mick Webster, a resident in the area who was dry stone walling at the time on Badger Lane called the emergency services. “I heard a large explosion come from the area,” he said. “I could see smoke billowing into the sky from the site.

“There seems to be repeated incidents on the site as well as a lot of vandalism.”

Secretary of the Sunny Vale Residents Association John Wharton said: “This sort of incident is a nuisance to residents and more so to the owners of the land who are the real victims in this.”

In September 2007, a series of explosions at the plastics factory sparked a massive blaze in the isolated spot in woodland between the Travellers’ Rest pub and Sunny Vale with 100 firefighters involved.

A few weeks later there was another fire incident where police investigated.

The area has been the subject of a series of planning applications to develop the abandoned site including to build a retirement village. So far the plans have been rejected with Calderdale planning officers saying the development did not meet the requirements for building on green belt land.