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Sheffield factory workers flee blaze

Fire at Sheffield Foods, Pitsmoor, Sheffield.

Fire at Sheffield Foods, Pitsmoor, Sheffield.

Part of an onion pickling factory in Sheffield faces demolition after the building was badly damaged by fire.

Firefighters were called to Sheffield Foods, off Carlisle Street in Pitsmoor on Saturday, shortly after noon.

At its height, more than 40 firefighters were on scene tackling the blaze, which saw part of the building collapse.

Firefighters also battled to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings on the commercial estate before finally getting the blaze under control.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokeswoman said: “Factory workers were inside the building at the time the fire broke out, but by the time our crews arrived on the scene everybody had been evacuated.

“There was a period of time where our fire crews couldn’t get into the building as it had become very unstable in areas.

“In fact, our crews had to pull back at one point as part of the building came down right near where they were.

“We still had crews at the scene on Sunday to continue damping down operations.”

Part of the three-storey building now looks set to be pulled down after engineers decided it was too unstable, as a result of structural damage caused by the blaze.

An investigation into exactly how and where within the factory the fire broke out is under way, although investigators believe it started accidentally.

Ashfaq Ahmed, factory owner, said: “It’s been a difficult weekend – obviously the timing couldn’t be worse as this is as our busiest period .

“My priority right now is trying to keep my customers happy and orders going out so I’m busy trying to move my operations.”

Former owner Ken Ellis, who sold the factory to Mr Ahmed in 2009, said: “It’s such a shame, especially at this busy time of the year.”

 

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