Fire hit Mytholmroyd woodworking company is back in production

Smoke billows out of Drew Forsyth, furniture makers, at Moderna Industrial Estate, Mytholmroyd. Picture courtesy of the company.
Smoke billows out of Drew Forsyth, furniture makers, at Moderna Industrial Estate, Mytholmroyd. Picture courtesy of the company.

A woodworking company hopes to be back in full production by the end of this month, following a fire at its headquarters on Monday.

The fire completely destroyed the extraction room and systems, canteen and board and meeting room at Drew Forsyth & Co, Moderna Industrial Estate, Mytholmroyd, causing more than £10,000 worth of damage with the full cost of repair yet to be calculated.

Part of the fire-damaged extraction system at Drew Forsyth & Co, Mytholmroyd. Picture courtesy of the company

Part of the fire-damaged extraction system at Drew Forsyth & Co, Mytholmroyd. Picture courtesy of the company

It comes as Drew Forsyth & Co, which manufactures and sends its luxury handmade kitchens and bathrooms across the UK and internationally, is coming to the close of its best year on record.

And managers have praised efforts by the company’s close-knit staff which have minimised disruption to production since the fire.

Sensors in the extraction room triggered the fire alarm around 10.25am on Monday morning, November 6, just after morning break, only ten minutes after two team members had completed one of the two daily bag swaps at the unit, at which time nothing untoward was noticed.

Business manager George Forsyth said it is believed the fire may have potentially started when extraction was turned back on at 10.20am when the task had been completed. All employees were safely evacuated from the site into the nearby car park where they watched smoke bellowing out from the building, fearing the worst until the fire engines arrived.

The shop floor at Drew Forsyth & Co, furniture makers, at its Moderna, Mytholmroyd, headquarters. The company is still on course to complete its best year on record despite the fire. Picture courtesy of the company

The shop floor at Drew Forsyth & Co, furniture makers, at its Moderna, Mytholmroyd, headquarters. The company is still on course to complete its best year on record despite the fire. Picture courtesy of the company

Crews from Mytholmroyd, Halifax, Illingworth, Todmorden and Rastrick were sent to the scene. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels and a large jet to put out the flames, before the smoke was cleared by high powered fans.

Mr Forsyth said although there had been damage to the building, luckily no stock or assembled furniture was affected by the fire. The fire doors and sprinkler systems that were in place worked perfectly to contain the fire to the affected part of the building.

Around 1.30pm the fire investigation officers allowed the management team back into the building where they were able to assess the damage and form a plan of action, said Mr Forsyth.

“With an excellent team effort and goodwill we were able to continue disrupted production at around 50 per cent capacity.

“By Tuesday with help from local suppliers we were able to get back to around 80 per cent production capacity.

“We now have some temporary extraction in place downstairs and with excellent service from Towergate Insurance Halifax we hope to get back to normal by the end of the month.

“We hope this setback shouldn’t affect what is set to be a great 2018. We have an amazing close knit team in our family-run business and the amazing efforts of everyone it has helped minimise disruption,” he said.

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