Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Blaze-hit Rawdon firm aims for quick recovery
An air conditioning factory which was the scene of a massive blaze is hoping to supply customers again by the end of the year.
And Rawdon-based Airedale is still expected to make an annual profit, according to its Managing Director Clive Parkman.
More than 100 firefighters from at least 22 fire stations tackled the blaze at the plant on Friday.
But just days later staff were picking up orders at a show in London and loyal customers of the long established firm have offered to wait for their goods.
Mr Parkman said the response from customers and the local community had been superb, and he praised the company’s ‘brilliant’ employees.
“We are firmly committed to our employees, customers, suppliers and local residents, and are doing everything in our power to return to normal operations as quickly as possible,” he said.
“I would like to thank everyone for the support they have shown us during this difficult time, via phone, e-mail and social media. It has been exceedingly well received.
“We are extremely proud of our very loyal and highly skilled workforce and I would like to reassure them that there will be no job losses as a result of the fire.”
Mr Parkman said the company had lost orders in the short-term but was working with its competitors to supply products.
He added many customers had said they would wait until the new year when the plant was back in production.
He said Airedale was able to use half of its existing site and was looking at temporary premises to use alongside that.
“With the new premises we are hoping to be producing within a couple of months and supplying again by the end of the year.”
The company is holding meetings with its staff this week to keep them informed.
“We have contacted a lot of employees already and they have been brilliant,” he said. “They just want to get stuck in.”
The financial impact of the fire is still being assessed but Mr Parkman stressed: “It will not take us into any desperate situation – we will still be in profit for the year.”
A spark is believed to have started the fire on the ground floor in an area which had been closed up for the weekend.