Second blaze in 24 hours: Foul play suspected at former Odeon Cinema in Preston city centre

A second fire in Preston city centre in less that 24 hours has broken out – with smoke seen billowing from the former Odeon Cinema on Church Street.

By Jon Peake
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 3:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 14th May 2022, 6:00 pm

Four fire crews arrived on the scene earlier this afternoon, Saturday, May 14, after a member of the public called in the incident.

Reports suggest Syke Street was closed to the rear of the former cinema, with a number of fire engines seen on Church Street.

This just hours after a large blaze at the derelict St Joseph's Orphanage, which was ablaze for hours last night (Friday).

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The former Odeon Cinema building on Church Street (library pic)

The cinema has stood empty for over two decades since its closure in 1992.

A fire brigade spokesman said the fire is being treated as suspicious.

"Obviously someone has got into the building and caused this," he said.

"We don't know who, but they managed to get into the place. It was boarded up pretty well, but somehow people always find a way in.

"It makes our life difficult, but thankfully no-one was injured."

Four fire crews from Preston, Penwortham, Bamber Bridge and Fulwood attended the blaze.

It was on the third floor of the building which has been derelict for many years.

In all the fire brigade was at the scene for more than three hours.

"We sent the search dog in to check if there any casualties and thankfully there weren't," added the spokesman.

"There isn't an awful lot in there to start with, the building was already in a state of disrepair."