Fire crews fight to save factory

FIREFIGHTERS spent five hours tackling a blaze at an industrial unit in Sheffield to prevent flames spreading to the factory next door.

Crews were called to Rutland Road, Neepsend, at 1.40am yesterday to find a single-storey building next to the former Stanley Tools factory engulfed in flames.

The burning building, measuring 50 metres square, was only 10ft away from the massive factory formerly owned by Stanley Tools and once used as the company’s main manufacturing base.

Station manager Kevin Ronan, who oversaw the firefighting operation, said when crews arrived the blaze was raging and there were fears the factory next door would go up in flames.

“The building was a single story outbuilding in the former Stanley Tools complex and although it is not used by Stanley any more it is being used by somebody else so we did everything we could to avoid the fire spreading,” he said. “The crews did a fantastic job in containing the fire to the outbuilding and had to put water onto the factory next door because of the risk of the fire jumping across and the risks of radiated heat starting a second fire.”

He said the cause of the blaze was not yet known and the building was so badly damaged it may be difficult to establish what exactly sparked the fire.

Firefighters had to use cutting equipment to gain access to the industrial compound before they could start dousing the flames with water.

At the height of the blaze there were three fire engines and a command unit at the scene.

Two fire engines were from Sheffield’s city centre station and the other from Elm Lane.

“The building was totally destroyed and was in such a dangerous condition firefighters did not enter it so we had a number of jets on it from outside,” he added.