Firefighters tackle blaze at converted Grade II listed former lace mill

Firefighters are tackling a blaze at a historic former lace mill near Nottingham.

The fire broke out at Springfield Mill in Bridge Street, Sandiacre, on Tuesday afternoon and crews worked into the night to extinguish flames which continue to burn in the roof.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said “rapid and effective firefighting” had saved three quarters of the mill – which is now apartments – and “significant numbers of appliances” remained overnight.

Springfield Mill, with its distinctive chimney, is a well known local landmark and the fire service asked people to observe the Government’s coronavirus lockdown rules and stay away from the area, tweeting: “Coming to view this fire is not an essential journey.”

They also advised people to remain indoors and to keep windows and doors closed due to smoke.

Local resident Tom Walters, 29, told the PA news agency: “Large plumes of smoke have been billowing in the air with debris falling below.

“It’s awful to see, especially knowing that people are now without a home at the current time.”

Sandiacre blaze
Local people were advised to close their windows (@tigerharris77/Twitter)

The fire service was called at 4.23pm and eight engines, two aerial ladder platforms, two water carriers and a control room unit went to the scene but residents said flames were still visible at about 7pm.

Marie Talbot, 42, told PA:”The fire raged through the top floor really quickly, but it soon escalated.

“The flames were pouring out the top, but I could see the firemen were already trying to tackle it.”

Mr Walters said it was a shame to see the “gorgeous old building” in this state and Ms Talbot described Springfield Mill as “iconic”.

Daniel Fenwick, 31, added: “The building is a beautiful piece of Nottingham heritage. It’s sad to see this happening to such a prominent building with so much history.

“I just hope everybody got out safely and have somewhere safe to go.”

The Historic England website says the lace factory and attached chimney were built in 1888 for Terah Hooley, a wealthy local industrialist, and had capacity for 160 machines.

At that time, Nottingham was the international centre of machine-made lace.

Springfield Mill is now a gated development with 105 high specification apartments.

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