Ferrybridge Power Station might not be fully operational until next year after yesterday’s huge fire, its operators have confirmed.
The blaze, which saw pummels of smoke billow across the Five Towns, has caused the partial collapse of a tower at the plant.
At its height, around 75 firefighters tackled 100m high flames coming from the unit, which is used to produce gypsum plasterboard- a bi-product from the power industry.
Steve Beckley, deputy chief fire officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and incident commander at Ferrybridge, said the building wasn’t in use at the time of the fire.
He added: “The rubber-lining of the building set alight and we’ve had a significant challenge actually extinguishing the fire.
“The building is five-stories high and has become quite unstable. We prevented fire spreading to the neighbouring tower but our main priority now is the stability of the building.”
A spokesman for the fire service said no-one was injured in the fire.
Power station operators SSE said the cause of the blaze was now under investigation.
A spokesman added: “ Early indications show the fire itself started in unit four but also had some impact on unit three.
“Currently, we do not expect unit four to return to service in this financial year. Unit three is not expected to return to service before November 1.
“The company’s practised emergency response procedures were immediately activated, with all staff accounted for and no injuries reported. Emergency services were in attendance.
“Overnight West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, together with the other emergency services, remained at site and continue to deal with the incident with support from SSE engineers.
“As of this morning (Friday) the fire has been brought under control, and the site is now secure.”