A Holmfirth textile firm hopes to be back in production over the next few days following a devastating fire at the weekend.

But scores of fish in the River Holme have perished – seemingly as a result of substances that were washed into the water as firefighters tackled the blaze at the Dunford Road premises of Holmfirth Dyers.

Company spokesperson Lynda Baldwin said that the firm planned to restock the river – as members of its 70-strong workforce set about clearing up following Saturday’s fire.

She said: “We have minimal production at the moment. It’s the first day everyone has been back at work. We’ve nothing leaving the premises. We are hoping by Wednesday we can start to send product out again. We’re all pulling together as a team.”

Holmfirth Dyers fire, Dunford Road, Holmfirth. Fire Crews from Dewsbury and Wakefield at the scene.

Lynda said the fire had destroyed one department dealing with part of the dyeing process, but employees were able to work in the rest of the premises. The firefighters had stopped the blaze reaching the area used to store stock. “If all our stock had gone we wouldn’t have been able to come back from that,” she added.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Saturday. At its peak, about 60 firefighters from across West and South Yorkshire were needed to tackle the incident at the 32-year-old firm, which is headed by father and son Brian and Martin Duckett.

Scores of dead trout were spotted in the River Holme following the incident.

Trout found dead in the River Holme following the blaze at nearby Holmfirth Dyers

Honley man Jon Green, who was among volunteers at Sunday’s Holmfirth Duck Race, posted pictures of the dead fish on Facebook. He said the incident was “incredibly sad from every perspective.”

He said: “On Saturday, the river had a purple hue and you could not see the bottom of the river. On Sunday it had cleared up but there were 100 to 150 dead fish, some very large. It was quite apocalyptic.”

Lynda said: “Everything we use here is environmentally-friendly. Most of our customers sell on ‘eco’ lines and everything we use here is kind to the environment.”

She added: “The chemicals that may have spilled into the river were very diluted, but they take the oxygen out of the river. That’s how the fish perished.”

Lynda said the company fully intended to replenish fish stocks.

Holmfirth Dyers fire, Dunford Road, Holmfirth. Fire Crews from Dewsbury and Wakefield at the scene.

Posting on the Holmfirth Community Group Facebook page, she thanked the fire service for the “fantastic” job they did and local people for their support, adding: “Any impact on the local environment will have our fullest attention and we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure our beautiful valley is maintained.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said its officers attended the scene on Saturday morning to carry out water sampling. It revealed that the water used to extinguish the fire contained a soluble dye that stained the river dark purple and which it was suspected had caused the death of 40 to 50 fish.

Holmfirth Dyers bosses pay tribute to firefighters who saved them from going under

By Saturday evening, the dye had been diluted to the extent that it had all but disappeared, although deep, slow sections of the river were likely to remain affected until river flows increase. Kirklees Council had been informed with respect to considering public health concerns.

Said the spokesperson: “Whilst there are currently no further signs of fish distress or mortality, we have commissioned an ecological survey so that we can determine the full extent and impact of the pollution.”