A fire at a disused building in Hanley last night was started deliberately Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.
"Whoever started this fire was endangering themselves as well as members of the public."
Fire Investigation Officer, Kelvin Knapper
The fire at the disused Willets Bathrooms building on Botteslow Street was reported at 5.45pm and took 45 firefighters approximately four hours to bring under control.
The incident was then closed at midnight with a re-inspection taking place at 4am and 9am this morning before a fire investigation could begin.
A joint investigation with Staffordshire Police Forensic officers has concluded that the fire was started deliberately. Fire Investigation Officer, Kelvin Knapper said: "After a full investigation of all ignition sources present in the building, the evidence points towards a deliberately started fire.
"Whoever started this fire was endangering themselves as well as members of the public and whilst various crews and appliances were tied up putting out this fire they could have been needed at a serious emergency.
"The guilty party has also put their own life at risk, as well as the lives of the firefighters, and could have easily ended up trapped in the building which would have required crews to carry out a rescue. The incident has now been handed over to the police to investigate further."
Anyone with any information about the fire can contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.