Hunt for teens in arson probe

The Grand Hotel following Sunday's fire
The Grand Hotel following Sunday's fire

POLICE say they want to talk to four teenagers in connection with a suspected arson at a Wigan hotel.

Detectives have launched an investigation into yesterday’s blaze at the derelict Grand Hotel on Dorning Street.

We haven’t made any arrests but we are looking for four teenage boys who we would like to question about the incident

Greater Manchester Police spokesman

Firefighters reported seeing people escaping through a back window when they arrived at the old town centre building shortly after 3pm.

This resulted in extra engines being called for plus additional police officers and even the air ambulance.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “We were called to the Grand Hotel at around 3.25pm after reports of a fire in the basement that quickly spread.

“We haven’t made any arrests but we are looking for four teenage boys who we would like to question about the incident, which is being treatd as arson.

“Two boys were seen running away from the hotel and there were initial concerns that the other two were still inside but this turned out not to be the case.

“We had to close the road off while the fire was dealt with.”

A specialist unit from Leigh fire station attended alongside crews from Hindley, Atherton, Lancashire and Merseyside.

The nearby Anvil pub had to be evacuated after smoke spread into its cellar but it was expected to re-open at 11am today.

Firefighters said the fire was difficult to locate with the whole of the Grand Hotel heavily smoke logged and the building in a poor state with holes in the floor making conditions even more dangerous.

One firefighter sustained a hand injury as he tried to enter the building.