Arsonists strike for third time at community centre

The old Grange Community Centre in Ribbleton has been targetted by arsonists three times in a week

The old Grange Community Centre in Ribbleton has been targetted by arsonists three times in a week

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Firefighters are calling for the owners of a former community centre to “hurry up” with demolition after arsonists struck three times in a week.

Crews were called to the former Grange Community Centre, Ribbleton at 10pm on Wednesday and spent an hour tackling a deliberately-started blaze in the roof space.

The building in Hazel Grove was also set on fire on Sunday and Tuesday nights.

Watch manager Mark Woodward said: “Each time this happens, it is depleting the area of fire cover that’s needed.

“Before it escalates and someone gets hurt, we want this building to be fully demolished and top more anti-social behaviour.

“We’re going to be speaking to the owners about it, because it’s a temptation to people.

“I’m also going to ask the people who are doing this to look at their own conscience, because they are putting firefighters at risk and depleting fire cover.”

On Sunday night the store room area was targeted, and on Tuesday the ground floor was set on fire.

On that occasion crews from Hyndburn with a specialist aerial ladder platform had to be drafted in.

The building, which has been boarded up for some time, is owned by Community Housing Association (CGA).

A spokesman for the social landlord said: “Officers have been to the site and the demolition contractors are making good progress.

“They are removing all combustable materials and making sure the site is secure.

“The demolition work is set to be completed by March 31, when the site will be grassed over.”

CGA said there were no plans in progress to develop the site.