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Derelict factory in Church ‘torched’
10:30pm Wednesday 28th April 2010 in News
VANDALS caused a huge fire at a large former factory last night, with crews spending six hours tackling the blaze.
It was the fourth arson attack in three days at the old Mato factory at Church Bank Mill, off St James Road and Kirk Road, Church.
The building is currently vacant and firefighters have called for security to be stepped up at the site.
Watch manager Gary Drinkwater said his teams were attending a hoax callout in Avenue Parade, Accrington, when they spotted the flames more than two miles away coming from the fire at 7pm.
He said: “The building was in a dangerous condition.
"There were wooden floorboards and an old industrial chimney which made it more unsafe.
“The building was well alight and took three hours to bring under control.
“It was incredibly reckless to start the fire.”
Mr Drinkwater said the factory contained insulation lagging and wooden pallets, which aided the blaze.
Six fire engines, along with the aerial ladder platform and a mobile fire station, were in place until around 12.30am today but another fire was sparked at the site just hours later at 3.30am.
Accrington crew manager Dave Forth said: “This is the fourth call to this building in four days.
"All the appliances from Hyndburn were tied up at these incidents which were deliberate.
“That means had there been a critical incident, such as someone stuck in a house fire or a road traffic collision, lives may have been put at risk.
“The building is just being left open and ourselves and police are investigating who is responsible.
“Whoever is knocking it down needs to put a secure fence around it. It’s getting ridiculous.”
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