Tearful owner of Halifax mill ravaged by blaze: "It's in my soul"

Tim Greenwood, owner of Greenwood's Mill in Halifax.
Tim Greenwood, owner of Greenwood's Mill in Halifax.

The owner of an iconic former woollen mill badly damaged by a blaze in the early hours of this morning has described the devastating moment he arrived to find the building engulfed in flames.

Tim Greenwood has helped to manage the upkeep of the building since the 1970s and said the premises is 'part of his soul', having grown up around it.

Fire crews are still at the site, which sits opposite the entrance to Halifax Central Library.

Fire crews are still at the site, which sits opposite the entrance to Halifax Central Library.

His family's ownership stretches back 140 years, across four generations.

"I'm just absolutely gutted," he said, "I love the place, I just love it. It's in my heart and soul.

"I got a phone call at about 4:30 this morning from the fire service. I just felt sick and obviously I came straight down. It was horrendous."

READ MORE: "We will fight back from this": Halifax mill tenants defiant after blaze devastates businesses

Fire crews have tackled the blaze and are now in the process of 'damping down' the building, which a spokesperson confirmed is 'structurally unsafe' in several areas.

Tim said: "My biggest concern right now is for the businesses as they immediately lose business.

"I know them all personally because I make it my business to do so, I train three times a week at the gym.

"I'm heartbroken for them - they're my friends as well as people I work with."

READ MORE: Live updates and videos from the Halifax town centre mill blaze

Several tenants have expressed their determination to battle back from the devastation, an effort Tim said he will lead.

"Without a doubt. Hopefully as much of this as possible will be resolved by insurers, but we will rebuild and come back stronger.

"I don't know what is likely to happen but I would like each and every one of the businesses hurt by this to come back in when we've sort it out.

"We have a very, very happy carry-on in this place and we have had for many years."