The “crumpet capital of the UK” came close to being fully toasted as a huge fire broke out in a Dunstable factory on Sunday morning.
Honeytop Speciality Foods, one of the biggest bakeries in the country, went up in flames after one of the factory’s ovens– used for baking naan breads– caught fire.
More than 30 firefighters rushed to the Verey Lane site after the blaze broke out at 3.55am and by the time crews arrived the fire had also spread to a mezzanine floor in the building.
Area commander Tim Birchall said the actions of Beds Fire & Rescue saved the building.
He added: “The firefighters did a fantastic job working in very difficult conditions due to the heat and smoke to extinguish the fire before it could destroy more of the building.
“Access to the fire was difficult and there was considerable amount of smoke and radiated heat inside the building which meant lots of firefighters had to tackle the fire wearing their breathing apparatus.
“It took some time, but by about 5.30am we had extinguished the fire and were finally able to open the external doors with the help of company representatives to ventilate the building and let the intense heat and smoke escape.”
It is believed the fire started in an oven where some residual oil from the cooking process had ignited.
Six fire appliances were sent to the site, as well as the aerial platform ladder from Luton and the Incident Command Unit, from Leighton Buzzard.
The incident was closed by fire officers at 7.35am, with no further investigation into the blaze required.
Paul Meade, a spokesman for Honeytop owner ARYZTA, said it is not yet known how much repairs will cost.
He added: “ARYZTA is investing in the facility to add capacity and improve efficiency and product portfolio range for our customers.
“Safety is of paramount importance for ARYZTA.”