Historic building targeted by arsonists

Firefighters tacking a blaze at the building in January, 2010
Firefighters tacking a blaze at the building in January, 2010

ARSONISTS have once again targeted an historic mansion.

Three fire crews attended a blaze at Tunstall Court, a derelict manor house in the West Park area of Hartlepool, last night.

Fire chiefs say someone broke into the house, which has been hit by more than 30 fires in the last five years, and started a fire around 7.30pm yesterday.

Firefighters spent half an hour at the scene.

A spokesman for Stranton Fire Station said a small rubbish fire had been set inside the building.

The spokesman added that three crews were needed because of the size of the building.

He said: “Someone had broken through the security of the building and set a rubbish fire.

“The building was pretty damaged beforehand anyway so it’s difficult to say what damage was caused.

“We will be trying to secure the building today.”

Tunstall Court has regularly featured in the Mail over recent years following repeated arson attacks.

The building is one of Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond’s top priorities for sorting out and has featured regularly in the Mail’s Spot the Grots campaign.

Owner Ruttle North East has submitted plans to Hartlepool Borough Council to convert Tunstall Court into 16 new homes, along with 12 executive-style detached houses in the grounds.

The plans are subject to a three-month consultation period before they reach the council’s planning committee.