FIRE investigators have been unable to establish the cause of the fire at the Oxfam Wastesaver plant because the wreckage is too dangerous.

And they have said they may never be able to find out what made the Beck Road recycling centre go up in flames at the weekend.

More than 70 firefighters from across West Yorkshire spent hours battling the blaze, which broke out at about 6pm on Saturday.

The Examiner reported how they were beaten back after gas cylinders exploded and the roof threatened to collapse.

Most of the warehouse where the production equipment was housed was destroyed, together with tens of thousands of pounds worth of clothing.

Staff were left devastated by the loss of the unique project, which is Oxfam’s UK centre for its clothing recycling arm. Each year it raises more than £1m for the charity’s work.

The investigation into the cause of the huge blaze began on Sunday, involving specialist fire and forensic officers.

But a fire spokesman said yesterday the cause of the fire is still unknown and may never be established as investigators could be forced to wait until the building is demolished before they can continue their work.

He said the structure, which is described as ‘90% destroyed’, is unsafe after it collapsed against the force of the flames.

There are also concerns that dangerous particles from the asbestos roof will spread if the wreckage is sifted through further.

The spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The cause is pending further investigations but it is likely to be some time before the investigation is concluded, if it can be concluded at all.

“The state of the building can hamper these kind of investigations. In this case 90% of the building was involved in the fire which can cause difficulties identifying the cause.

“A lot of older buildings like this have asbestos so there is the risk of it spreading.

“Parts of the building are still unsafe and at present it is too dangerous for investigators to carry on their work.

“Due to the unsafe nature of the site we don’t know when there is going to be a conclusion.

“Officers will do everything they possibly can to find a cause but at the moment the state of the structure is hampering moving the investigation forward because they can’t go where they need to go.

“They will probably have to wait for the site to be cleared before they can get in and do their job but even then we may not be able to establish a cause.”

The charity’s staff have been working hard to source equipment and alternative premises and aim to get the operation up and running again within days.

They have been inundated with offers of help from groups including staff and students from the University of Huddersfield.