Teenagers quizzed over suspected arson attacks at Longscar building and social club in Hartlepool

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 quizzed four teenagers following suspected arson attacks on two Hartlepool buildings.

Officers investigating blazes at the Longscar building in Seaton Carew on May 8 and Burn Valley Social Club, previously known as the Rafa Club, on May 9 have talked to the teens in relation to the incidents.

Two girls aged 14 and 16 and two boys aged 15 and 17 have been spoken to by officers voluntarily and inquiries are ongoing.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “Two girls aged 14 and 16 and two boys aged 15 and 17 were spoken to voluntarily. Inquiries are ongoing.

“Detectives have previously spoken to a 16 year old girl and a boy of the same age in relation to the same two fires.

“Officers would again appeal for anyone with information regarding the two fires to get in touch.”

Around 60 firefighters from Cleveland Fire Brigade and the two of he service’s aerial ladder platforms were drafted in to battle the Longscar building fire, which broke out at just after 8pm.

Hundreds of people watched 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 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.

Officers have renewed their appeal for information and are asking people to contact DC Jodi Mallon via the 101 number.

If you don’t want to speak to police, you can pass information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org