Problems persist at derelict Wigan mill as firefighters attend three times in three hours

Firefighters have renewed their calls for people to stay away from a derelict Wigan mill after three arson attacks there in just three hours.
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Pagefield Mill, in Swinley, has been a hot-spot for vandalism and nuisance fires over the past few years, but the problems have flared up in recent months.

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Firefighters from Wigan were called there three times on Monday evening, receiving the first call at around 5.30pm.

A fire at Pagefield Mill last monthA fire at Pagefield Mill last month
A fire at Pagefield Mill last month
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Crew manager Nigel Shepherd said: “Crews attended there three times in a three-hour period. Youths were there on all three occasions, seen entering the premises and messing about on the roof. There were three occasions where they were trying to set fire to what’s left of the roof.”

Fortunately firefighters quickly arrived at the building, which overlooks Mesnes Park, and were able to tackle the flames before they really took hold.

But there have been much more serious incidents in the past, where up to eight fire engines were needed for several hours to put out blazes.

These incidents led to authorities warning of the dangers of arson attacks at the derelict site, both for people entering the building and due to the fire crews being unable to attend other serious incidents elsewhere while at Pagefield Mill.

Pagefield Mill is now derelict and dangerousPagefield Mill is now derelict and dangerous
Pagefield Mill is now derelict and dangerous
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Speaking about the people entering the site, Mr Shepherd said: “I know they are a bit bored, but it is not an ideal location to mess about in. The structure of the building is compromised in many locations, it’s very dangerous.

"It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or unfortunately killed there.”

The site was once used as a busy mill and later became part of Wigan and Leigh College, before becoming vacant and falling into disrepair.

It is now privately owned and has become a real problem for authorities in recent years due to the amount of anti-social behaviour there.

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Efforts have been made to secure the site with additional fencing, underground tunnels blocked and dangerous buildings demolished, but the issues persist.

Town hall bosses, the fire service and police are continuing to look at what action they can take to stop the problems there.