Three more teenage boys arrested over blaze at Hartlepool's former Wesley Chapel

Three more teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the devastating blaze at Hartlepool’s former Wesley Chapel.
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Six fire crews from around the region battled flames and smoke for more than eight hours after the alarm was raised on Tuesday, November 7, at just before 6pm.

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Cleveland Police have now revealed that three 14-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the fire.

Fire fighters at the fire at the former Wesley Chapel. Picture by FRANK REIDFire fighters at the fire at the former Wesley Chapel. Picture by FRANK REID
Fire fighters at the fire at the former Wesley Chapel. Picture by FRANK REID

A force spokesperson said: “They were questioned and released on bail while inquiries continue.”

The full impact on £3.8m plans to convert the Wesley into a boutique venue with 36 bedrooms, bar, restaurant and commercial units remains to be seen.

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But Darren Hankey, chair of Hartlepool Town Deal Board leading the Wesley project, said he hopes it will still go ahead.

The Wesley building the day after the Tuesday evening blaze.The Wesley building the day after the Tuesday evening blaze.
The Wesley building the day after the Tuesday evening blaze.

He said: "While it is devastating, the board will continue to work with our committed colleagues from Hartlepool Borough Council, our partners at Jomast and the emergency services over the coming weeks and beyond to try to ensure that this vital regeneration project continues.”

The Cleveland police spokesperson added: “We would again appeal for anyone with information or footage from the area, specifically from around 4.45pm to 5.30pm on Tuesday, 7th November, to contact Hartlepool CID on the 101 number, quoting ref 221645.”