Call to flatten derelict Wigan mill before people die

A Wigan councillor is calling for the demolition of a derelict mill which has been left seriously damaged after it was torched this weekend.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 12:30 pm
Pagefield Mill on fire
Pagefield Mill on fire

Coun George Davies, of Wigan Central, has said that “drastic action” must be taken over Pagefield Mill before someone loses their life.

The call comes just days after a huge blaze tore through the roof of the Kenyon Road building, a fire believed to have been started deliberately by youths who broke into the restricted site.

“Our priority is the safety of our residents who live nearby and our emergency workers,” said Coun Davies.

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Pagefield Mill on fire

“I bet they are sick to death of it. I am hoping no fatalities occur in that building.”

Coun Davies said that he will be calling on council leader David Molyneux to ask the town hall to take urgent action, either to demolish the mill or transform it into a fully-functional occupied building.

“I really hope that something can be done with this building, which needs to come down,” he added.

“From day one there have been fires in there, before that we had other types of anti-social behaviour.

“I know it’s owned by a person who lives in the Virgin Islands and that the council is trying to do everything it can to get it sorted out.”

Firefighters were called to the scene at around 4pm on Saturday.

During the initial call, residents reporting seeing youths inside the building and crews entered the mill on arrival to see if anyone was in danger, putting their own lives at risk.

It took seven fire engines, two of which had specialist aerial equipment, around four hours to tackle the flames and secure the building.

Carl Gleave, Wigan fire station watch manager criticised the thoughtless actions of those who started the blaze claiming they seriously put the lives of themselves and his firefighters at risk.

“When we arrived we believed some youths may still be inside the building so we had to enter which we didn’t want to do for safety reasons.

“We went in to see if anyone needed to be saved putting our safety at risk

“It seems the people involved didn’t give any thought to what harm they could be putting crews at.”

Eyewitness said huge chunks of the roof could be seen collapsing into the building. Following the blaze, firefighters and members of Wigan Council met for an emergency meeting to discuss dangerous buildings in Wigan.

Marie Bintley, Wigan Council’s assistant director for housing and growth, said: “Despite the council having invested significant funds into making this property secure, trespass has continued.

“We have facilitated discussions with the owner’s representatives, however, our building control team is repeatedly being called out to make this building secure.

“Whilst there are ongoing conversations with the owner’s representatives on the future use of the property, we are looking to exercise our powers to ensure they fulfil their responsibilities in making this building safe and secure.

“We would advise everyone to stay clear of the area and to not access the extremely dangerous site.”

Call GMP on 101 if you see anything suspicious.