POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a fire broke out at a former residential care home.
Firefighters were called to a blaze at the former Farmoor Care Home on Church Street in Orrell.
The blaze is believed to have been started deliberately at the property which has stood empty for a number of years and was in a dangerous state before even more damage was caused by the fire.
Extensive damage to the second floor of the building caused the roof to collapse.
Fire crews from Wigan and Leigh spent several hours tackling the fire using aerial platforms when they were called to the scene at shortly before 2.45am on Saturday, May 21.
A joint fire and police investigation is now under way to establish the cause of the fire. Nobody was injured.
Detective Constable Suzanne Rigby, of Wigan CID, said: “This was an incredibly reckless thing to do and I really want to find those responsible.
“Did you see anyone hanging around the area in the early hours of Saturday morning?
“Maybe you didn’t think much of it at the time, but your information could now be extremely helpful to us.
“Can I also advise residents not to go near the building as it is unsafe.”
Residents nearby feel the incident was imminent due to the premises being a hotspot for rough sleepers and a place for youths to gather and vandalise.
Dave Liptrot, who lives at the back of the derelict building, said: “This building has been plagued with problems for a number of years.
“People look after their properties in Orrell and keep the place tidy yet this is just a massive eyesore right in the middle and an incident like this was just waiting to happen.
“The place usually has young people messing about on the roof or skateboarding there and I have seen many times people sleeping rough in there.
“The owner of the building had plans to develop it but they had fallen through and it has just been left derelict.
“All the residents nearby are just hoping that fire will encourage the local authority to do something about the place and sort it out.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 8565307 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 08000 555 111.