Batley mill fire 180West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service managers have praised more than 70 firefighters who tackled an inferno which gutted a textile mill.

A "quick and effective response" meant the large blaze was tackled in just four hours and with all workers at a rag sorting firm housed in the Batley Mill and people in neighbouring houses were evacuted unhurt.

Firefighters from Dewsbury , Mirfield, Cleckheaton, Leeds, Morley, Ossett, Wakefield and Hunslet tackled the fire as it tore through the three-storey building. Fire commanders ordered in backup from other stations as the fire was accelerated by clothes and rags on the premises and grew in size and ferocity.

Area Manager Nick Smith said: “This was a mill building used predominantly for textiles and when crews arrived the building was well alight, with the fire spreading quickly. Firefighters worked in very difficult, windy conditions to prevent the very real danger of the fire spreading to neighbouring buildings. The mill was also at risk of collapse, which posed further difficulties to firefighter safety.

“Crews quickly evacuated people from nearby properties and contained the fire. It was a tremendous effort from all firefighters, who made the lives of nearby people their priority, and I applaud their quick thinking and hard work.”

The blaze, which gutted Greenhill Mills in Grange Road, Batley , broke out at around 11.30am on Thursday.

Operation commander Richard Hall added that textiles in the factory had enabled the blaze to spread rapidly and become "100% involved".