Death trap warning for arsonists

Rylands Mill, next to Mesnes Park
Rylands Mill, next to Mesnes Park

THE fire service has issued a dire warning after youths have been dicing with death by entering an unsafe building and setting rubbish alight.

Teenagers have broken into Wigan and Leigh College’s former Pagefield Campus, also known as Rylands Mill, in Parson’s Walk twice in two days, and set fire to old furnishings and paper and cardboard.

The latest incident occurred at 8.30pm on Wednesday, when crews from Wigan extinguished the flames.

They are now working with the site owners, Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police to secure the building and prevent yobs reoffending.

Geoff Thornley, station manager, said: “We monitor things like this very quickly and got in contact with the owner to ensure they re secure the area.

“We had a couple of fires last year and did similar work which did seem to work as it stopped it for a while. We hope that by taking on more preventative measures with partners, youths will be deterred.”

He warned the youngsters they were putting themselves at risk by setting fires in such an old building.

The building was sold by Wigan and Leigh College in 2009 and is managed by MCR Property Group.

A spokesman for MCR Property Group said: “The new owner is equally concerned about the incidents of vandalism and has put into place measures, including installation of a monitored alarm system in the building.

“The owner is currently in discussions with the local authority with a view to securing a planning consent for the conversion of the mill into apartments together with an element of new build residential development on the remainder of the site.”