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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Building Fire in Longton Deliberately Started

04/01/2012

A fire in the early hours of this morning at the old John Tams factory on The Strand in Longton was started deliberately.

"The fire had the potential to turn into a much bigger fire but luckily we received the early warning and firefighters were able to bring the fire under control quickly."

Station Manager, Garry Goodwin

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service received a call from three men who were on their way home from a night out at around 2.55am when they saw smoke coming from the building.

The men immediately called the fire service and then attempted to enter the building to check if anyone was inside. They climbed up a fire escape onto a flat roof however a 21 year old man fell through a skylight.

Crews from Longton, Hanley and Newcastle attended to put the fire out and rescue the injured man. Station Manager, Garry Goodwin said: "Whilst we appreciate the early call and that the three gentlemen were concerned for anyone who may be inside, we would encourage members of the public not to put themselves in danger, call us and then wait in a safe place.

"It is possible the building is used by rough sleepers however after a thorough search we confirmed there was no one inside. We did however discover two separate fires inside the building and following an investigation have established that the fire was started deliberately.

"The fire had the potential to turn into a much bigger fire but luckily we received the early warning and firefighters were able to bring the fire under control quickly.

"Starting fires deliberately is an incredibly dangerous thing to do; it endangers lives and ties up emergency resources. The incident has now been left with Staffordshire Police to continue with their investigations."

The 21 year old man was taken to hospital where he currently remains.

Crews left the scene at 4.45am.

Anyone with any information should contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 42 of January 4th or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.