A CHARITY is today counting the cost of one of the biggest fires in Huddersfield in years.

Oxfam's Wastesaver plant was ripped apart by a fierce blaze and a series of explosions last night.

More than 70 firefighters from across every part of West Yorkshire fought the inferno for more than eight hours, but they were unable to save the Beck Road premises.

The Oxfam centre employs 70 people and there were fears last night for their jobs. Many members of staff turned up to see the fire and were in tears.

It took fire crews eight hours to get the fire under control and firefighters are still at the scene today, Sunday.

Fire investigation officers and police are conducting an inquiry into the cause of the blaze.

To see a video of the fire visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoMZMyUCd54&feature=share


Inspector Diane Booth, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "There was a need to keep a large area clear because of the number of fire appliances and fire crews who were involved in tackling the blaze.

"There was no indication of anyone being in the warehouse at the time the fire started and no-one was hurt.

"The smoke was very thick and acrid with a nasty taste but it was not toxic and we toured the area making PA announcements to make sure people kept their doors and windows closed".


Structural engineers and fire investigation officers have been examining the site all day (Sunday) and say they expect it will be pulled down because of the extent of the damage caused after yesterday's fire.

- For the full story and pictures, including how one Police Community Support Officer stepped in to protect the public and Oxfam's reaction, see Monday's Examiner.