South Wales Echo

Club demolished after blaze

- ROB HARRIES Reporter robert.harries@walesonlin­

A FORMER working men’s club has been demolished less than two days after it was ripped apart by a large fire.

The blaze started at about 5pm on Thursday evening at the former site of Tylorstown Working Men’s Club & Institute in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Huge flames filled the inside of the building as plumes of smoke which could be seen for miles around billowed into the air. Six fire engines were sent to the scene and firefighte­rs spent more than four hours getting the blaze under control.

Given the extent of the damage, people living nearby were asked to evacuate their homes due to a partial collapse of the former social club.

Public transport was also affected by the blaze as bus services were unable to run past the building due to the road being blocked off by the emergency services.

The nearby local primary school was also closed on Friday as a safety precaution, while the road remained closed on Saturday morning as a large crane arrived at the scene to tear down what was left of the structure.

It is a sad end for a building which was at the heart of the community for decades. One man who used to live in the living quarters of the club back in the 1960s said it was “so sad to see it this way”.

A day after the fire, police confirmed that four youths have been arrested on suspicion of arson. A spokeswoma­n for South Wales Police said: “Detectives investigat­ing a fire which broke out at the former working men’s club in Tylorstown on March 24 have arrested four youths on suspicion of committing arson.

“East Road and Edmondes Street remain closed in both directions while engineers continue to assess the safety of the building which has been substantia­lly damaged by the fire.

We believe [the fire] was caused deliberate­ly and four arrests were made this afternoon

South Wales Police Inspector Mark Saunders

“Nearby homes were also evacuated and those residents have been temporaril­y rehomed by the local authority until the area is declared safe.

“Officers are continuing their appeal and are urging anybody who does have informatio­n to come forward.

“Motorists who drove through the area between 4pm and 5.15pm on Thursday are asked to check dashcam footage.”

Inspector Mark Saunders said: “The fire has caused extensive damage to an important community asset. We

believe it was caused deliberate­ly and have launched an investigat­ion – four arrests were made this afternoon.

“I’d like to thank the local community, who have experience­d significan­t disruption, for their patience and understand­ing.”

 ?? RICHARD SWINGLER ?? The scene in Tylorstown after the blaze at a former working men’s club
RICHARD SWINGLER The scene in Tylorstown after the blaze at a former working men’s club

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