Teenagers thought to be behind fire at derelict former Wigan pub

Teenage fire thugs are thought to be responsible for a blaze that broke out at a derelict former Wigan pub.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 3:27 pm

Passing ambulance crews alerted firefighters to the fire at The Griffin when they noticed smoke coming from the building shortly after 6.05pm on Wednesday (April 1).

Fire crews from Wigan spent around two hours tackling the blaze which happened in an outhouse at the back of the derelict pub on Standishgate.

Some youths seen in the area at the time are believed to have started the fire which happened only a stone's throw away from The Whitesmiths Arms.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Griffin Hotel in Standishgate

The pub has been empty for several years.

Carl Gleaves, watch manager, at Wigan station, said the fire could have been a lot worse.

He said: "We engaged with the police and the fire was called in by a passing ambulance.

"Fires are getting more well developed as you don't get normal passers-by alerting us at the moment because of the lockdown. So the ambulance pulled over and rang the incident in.

The Griffin Hotel in Standishgate

"The fire happened in the outhouse at the back of The Griffin. If ambulance crews hadn't alerted us, this fire could have been a lot worse and spread to the rest of the pub and other businesses nearby.

"We spent around two hours tackling the fire."

Mr Gleaves said three or four youths were seen in the area around the time of the fire. He said they are then believed to have left the scene, jumping over a couple of nearby walls.

He said: "We believe the fire was started deliberately by these youths as there is nothing to suggest this started naturally.

The Griffin Hotel in Standishgate

"There were some plastics seen in the area at the time of the fire.

"The fire has gutted the pub's outhouse and smoke logged the rest of the pub."

Mr Gleaves went onto warn parents to be responsible for their children and ensure that they're observing the coronavirus lockdown measures.

He said the fire meant that crews were unable to attend a large fire which broke out at the same time on Huyton Road, in Adlington.

He said: "We were unable to assist with this major fire because our crews were engaged dealing with the pub incident.

"Our message to parents would be take notice of where your children are as they shouldn't be gathering in groups like this.

"This shows a lack of repsonsiblity from parents in observing the lockdown measures.

"People setting fires deliberately is doing nothing more than take vital resources away from the fire service."

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.