Fire crews’ fury at arson attacks

The mill which is being targeted
The mill which is being targeted
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WIGAN firefighters have been forced to tackle a blaze at a disused building for the third time in five months.

The derelict school on Upper George Street, Tyldesley, was set alight on Tuesday night and crews who were called to the scene condemned the arsonists and warned youngsters to stay away from unoccupied buildings, not least because of the dangers of getting injured or killed.

The emergency services had to wear breathing gear and take risks entering the premises on the belief there could be people trapped inside a the three-storey former primary at around 9pm.

No-one was found although the call came after reports of children being spotted inside the building.

Upon arrival the bottom floor was well alight and the second floor was heavily smoke-logged with signs of the fire breaking through. It took a three-hour effort to extinguish the flames.

Station manager Neil Gaskell said: “When firefighters arrived they were greeted with a well-developed fire. We got the job as a ‘persons reported’ which means there could have been someone inside.

“Wearing breathing apparatus firefighters were committed into the building and used three jets to quickly extinguish the fire and to prevent it spreading. Thankfully, nobody was found inside.”

This comes just months after the derelict Howe Bridge Mill in Atherton was deliberately set alight.

GMFRS worked closely with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and roads around Upper George Street were closed for a while. An investigation shows that the fire was started deliberately, most likely by youths.

SM Gaskell added: “Arson is a criminal offence so those who decide to start fires can find themselves in trouble with the police, and also put themselves and others in danger.”