Fire Crews Tackle Saddleworth Blaze

27 February 2019, 10:34 | Updated: 27 February 2019, 10:47

Firefighters saddleworth moor

Witnesses have described the fire as looking 'apocalyptic'. Firefighters were called to Saddleworth Moor around the same time crews were also responding to a gas explosion at a house in Rochdale.

The burning on Saddleworth Moor stretched across 1.5 square kilometres. It started last night after Britain saw its hottest winter day on record.

The fire near Marsden could be seen for miles around as crews from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service battled to contain it through the night.

Witnesses described the "terrible" scene of fire coming close to buildings high on the moorland.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire "now looks to be out", but five fire engines and two specialist moorland firefighting units will remain on the moor "for much of the day to tackle any further hot spots". They included engines from Marsden, Huddersfield and the Kirklees area.

Incident Commander Laura Boocock described the blaze "one of the biggest grass fires (she) has ever seen", but it was "nothing they can't handle".

Tony Pearson, station commander from Odsal and Fairweather Green in Bradford, said: "It died down during the night but we came back at first light to get on the moor to get on top of it."

Mr Pearson said there was at one point a long strip of fire which was worked on.

"The priority was to ensure that property at the bottom of the valley is safe and making sure the fire doesn't spread down the valley," he said.

He described the location of the fire as "horrendous" as it took firefighters an hour to get there due to the terrain.

Firefighters also worked through the night to put out a large fire on Lilac Avenue in Milnrow after a suspected gas explosion at a terraced house.

 The blaze spread to four other homes and caved in the roofs of 2 of the houses. Six people including three children have been taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. Five homes have been evacuated.