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

Photographer and tenant Chris Lord has vowed to help other tenants.
Photographer and tenant Chris Lord has vowed to help other tenants.

The tenants of a former wool mill have vowed to 'come back stronger' after the building was devastated by a blaze in the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services rushed to Greenwoods Mill, set over the road from Halifax Central Library, at 3am to find the four-storey building engulfed in flames.

ASBCI manager Kirsty Holdsworth and owner Steph Ingham say they will use 'Yorkshire grit' to get through their devastation.

ASBCI manager Kirsty Holdsworth and owner Steph Ingham say they will use 'Yorkshire grit' to get through their devastation.

Fire crews are now in the process of 'damping down' the building, which a spokesperson confirmed is now largely structurally unsafe, with fire damage to the building's upper floors and severe water damage below.

READ MORE: Live updates and videos from the Halifax town centre mill blaze
Indications are that the business most badly-effected is fitness facility Workout Warehouse, who invested several thousand pounds into a renovation over its three-floor premises late last year.

Steph Ingham is the longest-serving tenant at Greenwoods having run ground floor clothing and textiles forum ASBCI there for 20 years.

She said the news is devastating, but that the tenants will pull together to get through it.

Fire crews are likely to be working on the mill well into this evening.

Fire crews are likely to be working on the mill well into this evening.

"We just have to find somewhere to get on with it and set ourselves up to carry on," she said.

READ MORE: Investigation underway into cause of Halifax town centre mill blaze
"We see a lot of the other tenants and we've got a good relationship with one another.

"It's down to Yorkshire grit, isn't it! We've got each other and we'll help each other as best we can."

It was a sentiment echoed by Ace Clothing owner Samantha Rayner, who moved her business from the Piece Hall six years ago.

"It's so upsetting for everyone. We're all small businesses, we're all more or less family-run and we work so hard at what we do. We all put everything into it.

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"We all know each other and we're friendly with one another. I brought my business here because of that - because people were so friendly and welcoming.

"We'll help each other. It's devastating but we've got that."

Photographer Chris Lord has based his business there for 16 years. It has been devastated by water damage.

He said: "It's a mess in there. It's like a sieve, all the water draining down. But it's the other guys that need more help.

READ MORE: Huge Halifax mill blaze shuts off town centre roads
"It's something you think about daily, this sort of thing. Every now and then you drive into town and see smoke and think to yourself 'I hope that's not my business on fire'. Today it was.

"People have invested thousand of pounds of their own money. All that may have gone.

"Even two weeks off can devastate you when you're working for yourself. My business will be OK but these other guys, they need our help.

"We'll rebuild, we'll get some fundraising going, we've got to do something. That building will be back."