Ar­son dam­ages home of canal boat pro­ject

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

WIT­NESSES are be­ing asked to come for­ward after an in­ferno which spi­ralled out of con­trol at Wood­side Youth Club in Run­corn took five fire en­gines to tame in the early hours of Wed­nes­day, July 4.

The in­ci­dent is be­lieved to have been started de­lib­er­ately.

Cheshire Con­stab­u­lary said: “Po­lice are urg­ing wit­nesses to come for­ward fol­low­ing a fire at a youth cen­tre in Run­corn.

“At around 3.05am on Wed­nes­day 4 July the emer­gency ser­vices were called to a fire at the Lord’s Tav­ern­ers Wood­side Youth Cen­tre on Palace­fields Av­enue in Run­corn.

“It is be­lieved that a car was driven up to the build­ing and then de­lib­er­ately set alight.

“The fire spread to the build­ing and caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to it.

“Cheshire po­lice are ap­peal­ing for any­one who saw any­thing sus­pi­cious in the area or has any other in­for­ma­tion ● that may help with their in­ves­ti­ga­tion to get in touch.”

Sergeant Chris Mad­docks said: “The crime of ar­son is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous – peo­ple can die as a re­sult of fires be­ing started de­lib­er­ately.

“Thank­fully no-one was in­jured by the fire at the youth cen­tre but the in­ci­dent will have a detri­men­tal im­pact on young peo­ple and the com­mu­nity in gen­eral.

“As well as the youth cen­tre, the build­ing housed the Canal Boat Ad­ven­ture Pro­ject, a canal boat-based so­cial in­clu­sion pro­ject for young peo­ple from the most deprived wards in Hal­ton.

“Due to the ex­ten­sive dam­age caused to the build­ing, this char­ity and the youth cen­tre will not be able to op­er­ate from the build­ing for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

“We be­lieve that the fire was started de­lib­er­ately.

“En­quiries are on­go­ing and I urge any­one who saw what hap­pened or wit­nessed any­thing sus­pi­cious in the Palace­fields Av­enue area of Run­corn overnight to call Cheshire Po­lice on 101, quot­ing in­ci­dent 112813, give the de­tails via https://cheshire.po­ con­tact/gen­eral-en­quiries or con­tact Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555111.

“We are also keen to hear from any­one who be­lieves they may know who started the fire.”

Fire­fight­ers bat­tled the blaze for six-and-a-half hours.

Five fire en­gines at­tended – two from Run­corn, two from Pen­keth and one from Lymm.

Sgt Mad­docks added: “The in­ci­dent is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent should call po­lice on 101.”

The Wood­side Youth Club and car

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