A fatal mill fire warning

Wigan's Pagefield Building on fire again
Wigan's Pagefield Building on fire again

There WILL be a death, warns a councillor following yet another fire at a derelict mill.

Crews were called to the old Pagefield building at 9pm on Thursday as yobs once again started a blaze at the rear annexe next to Mesnes Park.

This was the second arson attack in a month, and councillor George Davies, who has been working with the police and the council to secure the site, fears someone will die if action is not taken.

He is now calling for an emergency meeting with the council, the site owner’s solicitors and police and fire chiefs to tackle the problem.

He said: “There will be a death. One of those kids will die.

“People’s safety comes first and action needs to be taken now. We need to speak to the site owner’s solicitors and make sure it is properly secured.

“We need to extend the CCTV network in Mesnes Park to the Pagefield building and then we can catch them.

“I want to praise the fire brigade for their time in tackling the flames. It is a shame they are always being called to it.

“I am hoping for an emergency meeting next week to sort this out. We need to make sure the owner does something.”

The building, which has been stood empty for many years, has provoked many safety warnings as gangs relentlessly set fire to rubbish.

Despite the efforts of Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, to secure the site and send safety warnings, yobs still enter and start fires.

Watch manager Tony Callaghan said: “We were called to yet another potentially serious fire at the building.

“There is a potential for serious injury as there is so much debris.

“It is really frustrating having to commit resources for a length of time to this. We have limited resources that could be needed elsewhere. We had pumps from all stations across the borough on Thursday night. Our crews were there for 90 minutes.

“Something needs to be done as not only is it dangerous for the gangs who trespass, but also our firefighters.”

Wigan Council has been working to remedy the situation and is in contact with the site owners,

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council, said: “We continue to work with the owners of the site and the police to make it as secure as possible.

“Security measures have been put in place for a reason. It is important to remember that not only is trespassing illegal but they are also putting themselves in danger.”