Co-owner of fire ravaged Halifax building speaks for the first as investigation continues into cause of blaze

A Halifax business co-owner has spoken about the challenges she faces after her building caught fire on Clare Street.

Libby Wills, who co-owns Clare Street Garage, and the building next to it, said she believes yesterday afternoon's fire was caused by a welding-related explosion.

The building, believed to be the home of the fire, has all its windows smashed in

The building, believed to be the home of the fire, has all its windows smashed in

Mrs Wills and her husband Graham Wills have been left in a "stressful" situation after the fire, which was extinguished by four fire teams and an aerial unit from Huddersfield.

She said: "My husband has been running Clare Street Garage for over 20 years now.

"We've rented the property next door for around that time too.

"The property is used as a welding shop."

Union Street access has been shut off after the fire

Union Street access has been shut off after the fire

Mrs Wills said the fire started in the welding shop from an explosion possibly caused by an appliance within the property, which she believes was either a welding application, or a fridge.

"My husband and I are now in a stressful situation going through the insurance company," she said.

"We rent the property to a welder who we've not heard from yet."

Witness reported yesterday afternoon they heard an explosion before the fire took over the building.

Items are blackened after being caught up in yesterday's fire

Items are blackened after being caught up in yesterday's fire

READ MORE: Watch brave firefighters tackle blaze in Halifax as huge explosion is heard in town centre
Smoke could be seen over the skyline in Halifax town centre as firefighters cordoned off the area.

Stephanie Haslam, who works in The Trading Rooms, at the Piece Hall, said: "I could smell smoke all afternoon.

"I work with team of kitchen staff and had to double check there wasn't a fire in our kitchen.

"The smell was really strong."

More items that have been blackened by the fire

More items that have been blackened by the fire

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) confirmed the fire took over two hours to put out.

A spokesperson from WYFRS said: "We were called to a fire on Clare street in Halifax yesterday at 13.27pm.

"We were damping down by 15.43pm that same afternoon.

"We are investigating the cause of fire, but it’s worth noting that we haven’t received any report of any explosion."

A view of the fire from Union Street yesterday afternoon

A view of the fire from Union Street yesterday afternoon

Fire Service tape stretches across the rear of Clare Street where the fire took hold

Fire Service tape stretches across the rear of Clare Street where the fire took hold

The building to the rear of New Road

The building to the rear of New Road