Teenagers quizzed by police over suspected arson attacks on Longscar and social club

A boy and girl have been spoken to by police officers investigating the suspected arson attacks on two Hartlepool buildings on consecutive nights.

Cleveland Police has said the team carrying out inquiries into the blazes at the Longscar building in Seaton Carew on Tuesday, May 8, and the Burn Valley Social Club in Stockton Road the next night have spoken to a 16-year-old girl and a boy the same age.

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.

A spokeswoman said: "The teenagers were voluntary attenders for interview at the weekend and inquiries are ongoing.

"We believe there are people who know who was responsible for the fires and would appeal again for anyone with would again appeal for anyone who knows who may be responsible for the fire and who hasn’t yet contacted police to do so."

Around 60 firefighters from Cleveland Fire Brigade and the two of he service's aerial ladder platform were drafted in to battle the Longscar building fire, which broke out at around just after 8pm, with hundreds of people watching on as flames leapt from its roof and a huge plume of smoke was sent into the air.

The officers spent around 12 hours on the scene and made further checks the next day to ensure the fire was out.

The aftermath of the fire at the Longscar site, pictured the morning after the blaze.

The aftermath of the fire at the Longscar site, pictured the morning after the blaze.

The road was sealed off to traffic along The Front, with the whole site cordoned off after preliminary surveys by fire and council chiefs found it was structurally unsafe and that parts of it were at risk of collapse

Sections of the building were then demolished after the fire was put out to prevent unstable sections of wall posing a further risk.

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

Two years ago the council, which is carrying out regeneration work in the area, failed in its attempt to force the owners to sell them the building through compulsory purchase powers after a public hearing.

The diggers as they prepared to move in when concerns were raised about the stability of the Longscar site.

The diggers as they prepared to move in when concerns were raised about the stability of the Longscar site.

The fire at the Burn Valley Social Club, formerly known as the RAFA Club, broke out at 11.15pm on Wednesday, May 9, with three fire crews spending more than three hours putting out the blaze, with a hydraulic platform also used as part of the effort.

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to contact Detective Constable Jodi Mallon via the non-emergency number 101.

Those who do not want to speak to police directly can pass information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.