Arson damages home of canal boat project
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.police.uk/ 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