Askern Saw Mills
Askern Saw Mills

'Keep-out' call after fire at former Doncaster factory as pictures reveal wreckage - and minions - in closed-down industrial landmark

It was once a hive of Doncaster manufacturing.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 5:47 pm

But now the former Askern Saw Mills site on Askern High Street is stripped of the industrial equipment that once manufactured cable drums, with only damaged old cars and children’s minion toys remaining in a site which has been plagued by vandals.

Today, a member of the family which owns the site urged people to stay out, after it was damaged by a fire at the weekend – the latest break-in to have happened there.

Plans have been drawn up to re-develop the site, closed as a saw mill in 2013, with housing, a hotel and retail outlets.

Pictures of the site, showing damaged cars and dozens of damaged, yellow, Minions toys from the film Despicable Me, left by a fairground showman who once rented part of the site, were recently published by the urban explorer Facebook site Lost Places & Forgotten Faces. There is no suggestion of damage by the photographer.

But Jordan Murray, whose grandfather, Ian Murray, owns the site, today urged people to stay away and warned it presented hidden dangers that could put those sneaking inside at serious risk.

Jordan said his grandfather was currently unwell, which had delayed the development of the site.

But he added he had done as much as possible to keep people out of the land.

He said: “There is fencing all round, but kids keep cutting through the fence. There isn’t anything for people to take – there were old vehicles that belong to me and my granddad but they are now wrecked.

"There was a truck set on fire on Saturday – that will have to be completely scrapped now. There is a lot of criminal damage going on.

"It is not safe. There is asbestos in the building, and cylinders containing oxy-acetylene and propane. If those explode someone could be seriously hurt or dead.

"The fire at the weekend caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

"We are still in lockdown. Parents need to take some responsibility for their children. There are kids breaking in each weekend.”

South Yorkshire Fire service said three fire crews from Adwick and Doncaster fire stations were called to a deliberate fire involving a caravan, van and a truck at the site at 8.55pm on Saturday.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.

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