POLICE and fire chiefs fear someone is “going to be killed” unless arson attacks at a derelict building are stopped.
Tunstall Court in the West Park area of Hartlepool is a known target of arsonists and both the Police and Fire Brigade have been working together to try and stop this behaviour.
In the last eight weeks, 25 calls have been made to tackle fires at the building.
Steve Patton, Hartlepool Station Manager at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Not only are the perpetrators breaking the law by entering the private property and setting fires, but they are also putting themselves and fire crews at risk.
“Tunstall Court is an extremely dilapidated building with many dangers and whoever is entering the building is putting themselves in a very dangerous situation.
“It is time for this behaviour to stop before someone gets seriously hurt.”
Cath Jones, Police Community Support Officer from the South and Central Neighbourhood Police Team, added: “It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed on this site, these incidents must stop and parents need to take responsibility for where their children are.”
Conservative group leader Ray Martin-Wells said despite the developer successfully getting planning permission 18-months ago, the site remains an “eyesore and death trap”.
Coun Martin-Wells said: “I contacted Hartlepool Council’s planning enforcement team and requested that enforcement notices for each and every infringement are issued forthwith.
“I’ve always tried to work with developers to find a favourable outcome for affected residents but I feel let down with the developers at Tunstall Court.”