Neighbours demand action after derelict school is targeted by arsonists for the second time
8:40am Saturday 5th January 2013 in News
A DERELICT school has been targeted by suspected arsonists for the second time in just a few weeks.
Neighbours living close to the former Oldhams Primary School in Astley Bridge, are now demanding something be done with the empty building.
Firefighters were called to the Selkirk Road school at 7.15pm on Thursday. A classroom was destroyed in the blaze.
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of the attackers targeting her home, said: “I can’t believe this has happened once again and right next door to my home.
“Kids are often seen playing in there but it’s too late by the time the council’s response team come out.
“It’s absolutely disgusting this has been able to happen again. I could smell the fumes from the smoke coming through the vents in my house.
They won’t be happy until the whole building has gone. We are all sick to death of it.”
Fire crews from Bolton Central and Bolton North stayed on the scene for three hours to make the scene safe.
Gary Hodson, Watch Commander for Bolton North’s Blue Watch, said: “The building was well alight when we arrived and we’re treating it as a suspected arson attack and there seems to be lots of windows and door ways for people to get in the building.”
The previous attack took place on November 8 when a classroom in the lower building was destroyed.
The attack comes just weeks after neighbouring Barlow Park Youth Centre was targeted by arsonists.
Another Selkirk Road resident, who also did not want to be named, said: “I saw smoke coming from the building as I got off the bus and some kids asked the bus driver to call the fire brigade. It’s just a shame nothing is being done and that it’s not safe any more.”
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Following a fire in November, the building continues to be subject to regular security inspections, but despite these it has suffered further fire damage.
“We are awaiting the latest structural engineers’ report following this further damage before considering our next steps, with a view to resolving this matter permanently.
“We view these incidents very seriously and in the meantime we respond quickly to ensure that buildings remain safe and secure.”
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