A GIN still 'exploded' causing a major fire at a distillery.

Thirty five firefighters, six fire engines and an aerial ladder platform are working to prevent the blaze at Masons Yorkshire Gin from spreading, which was first reported at around 8.03am.

Simon Gallagher, for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We're getting it under control but we will probably be at the site all day.

"It's a fire in a gin distillery. Obviously that involves alcohol which creates a lot of heat so we had to assess the risk to our firefighters. They worked really hard to get this under control.

"You have to get into the building without stoking up the fire. Luckily there were no persons in there but it has been difficult and we've all been working together."

According to bystanders, smoke from the fire can be seen in Northallerton.

The Northern Echo:

At 9.20am, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue reported: "Crews have four main jets in use to tackle the fire externally. We will be at the scene for some time.

"Crews from Northallerton, Ripon, Leyburn, Bedale, Stokesley and Richmond and Durham are in attendance, along with an aerial ladder platform from Darlington, our incident command unit, and welfare unit.

"We would advise nearby properties to keep doors and windows closed, whilst crews tackle the fire."

According to the company website, Masons Yorkshire Gin was created by Karl and Cathy Mason.

They are said to be "gin enthusiasts without any prior knowledge of the industry who set out to produce a drink that stood out from the crowd – a unique gin with more character and more taste – not just a different label."

Our reporter Janet Gleeson is at the scene.

She said: "Fire crews are still at the scene as smoke is pouring out of the building. It is a single storey building with an adjoining garage and they are fighting to stop the fire spreading,

"A neighbouring Spar petrol forecourt has also been evacuated. The owners of the distillery Cathy and Karl Mason said they were contacted by workers before 8am this morning to say one of the stills had exploded and they had cleared the building.

"Cathy Mason told me thankfully nobody was injured and that was the most important thing. She said: 'It is just so shocking but we are determined that Mason's Gin will carry on'."

The owner of the adjoining garage Bruce Lindsay said: "I was contacted this morning to say the building was on fire. The fire crews are managing to stop it spreading. There is a fire wall and I am just hoping that holds."

At 10.15am, the fire service reported: "The aerial ladder platform is now in use. It is being used to allow firefighters to get access over the top of the building. The high volume pump is being set up to to help provide water to the incident.

"At this time we have requested that trains do not run on the Wensleydale railway into this area as we are accessing water supplies over the railway line.

"Crews are still likely to remain at the scene for some time.

"We would advise nearby properties to keep doors and windows closed, whilst crews tackle the fire."

At 10.45am, they added: "Crews now have the fire surrounded. They are making good progress extinguishing it and protecting the surrounding area/buildings.

"Two ground monitors, four jets, three hose reels and the ALP are in use.

"They are still likely to remain at the scene for some time."

At 1.05pm, the fire service tweeted: "We can confirm that the fire in #Bedale involved a building used as a gin distillery. The incident is being scaled down and some fire engines will be leaving the scene shortly. However we are likely to have some crews at the scene for most of the day."

Masons also tweeted.

The company wrote: "We’d like to thank everybody for their concern and well wishes following a fire at the distillery today. We can report that all staff are unharmed and there are no injuries sustained. We’d like to express our thanks to the emergency services and staff at SPAR for their support."

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