No arrests yet in Longscar Centre arson probe

No-one has yet been arrested in connection with a huge fire at the Longscar Centre in Hartlepool.

Eight fire appliances and two aerial platforms were needed and crews spent 12 hours on the scene of the blaze in Seaton Carew.

Damage caused at the Longscar Centre.

Damage caused at the Longscar Centre.

An investigation into the cause was launched by the fire brigade and Cleveland Police after the fire earlier this month.

At its height about 60 firefighters battled to bring a blaze under control as smoke billowed from the building and could be seen from the Headland.

The building, which was previously a pub and video game arcade, has been vacant since 2009.

Days after the blaze Cleveland Police announced they are treating the fire as arson.

Firefighters fight the flames at the Longscar Centre. Photo by John David McDade.

Firefighters fight the flames at the Longscar Centre. Photo by John David McDade.

Police have now issued a fresh appeal to the public in a bid to identify the culprits.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “No arrests have been made at this stage and inquiries are on-going.

“We would continue to appeal for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact us.

“This was a significant fire that caused considerable damage to the building.”

Days later a JCB and workmen carried out limited demolotion work on the building, which has remained cordoned off after it suffered severe damage.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said talks with the owners of the building are ongoing.

He said the responsibility for surveying the safety of the building lies with the private owners.

In 2016, the council, which is carrying out regeneration work along The Front, failed in its attempt to force the owners to sell it the building through compulsory purchase powers, after a public hearing.

Redevelopment work in Seaton Carew had to be curtailed after the hearing but the council is now carrying pout significant improvements on the sea front at Seaton Carew.

Anyone with information should contact DC Jodi Mallon from Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org quoting event number 081728.