Fire-fighters tackle suspected arson at unoccupied warehouse

Date published: 24 April 2011

Fire-fighters believe a blaze at an unoccupied factory building in Castleton was started deliberately.

Around 25 fire-fighters attended the fire, at a single-storey warehouse building, on Maltings Lane, at 6.04pm this evening (Sunday 24 April 2011).

The building was occupied by engineering firm W.R Anderton until 18 months ago. The owner, who didn’t want to be named, said there had been four arson incidents in a ten year period which eventually led to the closure of the business. Speaking about the moment he saw the fire, he said he thought “same old thing” just “yobbery.”

A passer by said they were alerted to the fire by the noise of a small explosion. It is believed this was caused by the burning of the asbestos type roof on the building.

Another resident said they started to smell smoke just after 6.00pm.

Two fire engines from Rochdale, two fire engines from Heywood and a special appliance from Hyde attended. The crews wore dusk masks.

A spokesperson for the fire service said the fire was being treated as “malicious ignition by persons unknown.”

The fire will be subject to a police investigation.

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