A fire which raged through a block of flats last night is currently under investigation.

Fire crews from Dewsbury, Mirfield and Batley and Wakefield were called in at around 4.50pm  when a blaze ripped through the two-storey building at Ashworth Close in the Eightlands district of Dewsbury.

The fire could be seen from far and wide as the first crews on the scene, from Dewsbury, reached the scene.

Firefighters had to tackle the blaze from the ground for the first 20 minutes until a specialist aerial appliance arrived from Wakefield.

All the residents had left the flats before the fire brigade arrived.

But fire officers wearing breathing apparatus still had to enter the blazing and smoke-logged building to make sure nobody was still inside.

A crowd of residents and neighbours gathered in sub-zero temperatures to watch the drama unfold.

Firefighters tackle blaze at Ashworth Close, Dewsbury
Firefighters tackle blaze at Ashworth Close, Dewsbury
 

Some residents are currently staying with relatives who live nearby.

It is thought that as many as 12 flats were involved in the fire, with at least four being gutted.

Fire investigation officers are looking into the cause.

One theory is that the fire could have been started by an electrical fault.

The apartment complex is managed by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH).

Dewsbury’s Blue Watch were first on the scene.

Watch Commander Richard Carr was initially in charge of the incident, which he described as “serious”.

 

Blue Watch officers were hampered by the lack of visibility.

They got one hose reel on the front door and one at the back until the aerial equipment arrived from Wakefield.

He said: “We could see all the smoke on the way over. We knew it was a serious fire and that it would take some finding. It was pitch black and full of smoke.

“We could see the fire along the line of the gutter and then it suddenly and rapidly broke through the roof, and travelled sideways and round the corner, setting all the roofs on fire.

"Flames were shooting out of the roofs.

“We had to change our tactical planning on how we were fighting the fire and concentrated on stopping it from spreading. It was quite a difficult fire to bring under control.

“We had men in breathing apparatus checking the flats were empty and later that there was no fire burning in the lofts.”

Fire crews were there most of the night, and fire investigation officers are visiting the site this morning.