Two fires in the Weston Coyney area of Stoke-on-Trent last night were started deliberately, fire investigations have established.
“Fire investigations into the incidents have established that both fires were started deliberately and there is the possibility that they are linked."
Fire Investigation Officer Kelvin Knapper.
The first incident was at Bolton Gate Saddlery on Leek Road shortly before 7.30pm. Three fire engines from Longton, Hanley and a water carrier from Cheadle tackled the blaze. The fire was on the first floor of a two storey brick barn that was being used to store horse riding equipment. All livestock had been lead to safety prior to the arrival of crews.
Crews tackled the fire externally due to the building being unstable. Firefighters managed to quickly bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to surrounding buildings; they also managed to salvage some of the horse riding equipment. The final crews left the incident at 10.10pm.
The second incident was at Parkhall Visitor Centre on Hulme Road at 8.18pm. Three fire engines from Hanley, Ipstones, Burslem and the water carrier from Cheadle were sent to the incident, which involved a single storey building. Due to the remote location a high volume pump was also brought in from Rugeley to pump additional water in from a local fishing pool. Firefighters were required at the incident throughout the night.
The building was completely destroyed by the fire and is now in the process of being demolished.
Fire Investigation Officer, Kelvin Knapper said: “Fire investigations into the incidents have established that both fires were started deliberately and there is the possibility that they are linked. Obviously bonfire weekend is a notoriously busy time for us and by dealing with these incidents it meant that these crews weren’t available to attend other incidents. The selfish individuals involved clearly didn’t think about the fact that whilst we were dealing with these incidents their family or friends may have needed our help. We’d urge anyone with any information to contact Staffordshire Police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”