FIRE chiefs have warned people to stay away from a derelict former chemical site after a fire was started in the chimney.
Arsonists are being blamed for the fire which caused smoke to billow out of the Steetley chimney, in the West View area of Hartlepool.
A pile of rubbish had been set alight at the base of the chimney on the site, in Old Cemetery Road.
Fire crews spent about half an hour tackling the small fire, at 5.45pm on Monday.
The site has been regularly targeted by arsonists and vandals in recent years and fire chiefs have once again urged people to stay away.
Jason Wood, watch manager at Stranton Fire Station said: “I don’t think some people are fully aware just how dangerous the former Steetley site is.
“There are a number of pitfalls and dangerous areas and we would urge people to stay away for their own safety.”
The Mail launched its Sort Out Steetley campaign in 2007 in a bid to clean up and secure the development of the site.
In March last year, the Government gave the green light to build up to 484 new homes, a seaview walk and a playground for children to replace the eyesore as part of a £100m development.