FOUR fire engines spent an hour tackling a blaze at a derelict historic building.
Owton Manor Lane, in Hartlepool, was closed to traffic as firefighters fought flames at the old manor house, near Manor College of Technology.
Fire chiefs have urged people to stay out of the dilapidated building, which is being made safe by Hartlepool Borough Council, following the fire, which happened at 1pm yesterday.
The fire started just feet from where a male tenant lives in an adjoining house and he had to be evacuated.
Ian Brown, watch manager at Stranton Fire Station, which sent two appliances to the incident, along with one from the Headland and one from Billingham, said the cause is still under investigation, but likely to have been deliberate.
The fire happened in an old out-building, which used to be a garage and utility rooms, where lots of waste material, such as wood is still present.
He said: “The building is in quite a dangerous state of disrepair and we would urge people to stay out for their own safety as well as others.”
The Mail reported on Easter Monday that the building was targeted by arsonists. And in 2010, 12 nearby homes had to be evacuated after an explosion ripped through the manor house in a suspected arson attack.