Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has criticised arsonists for putting lives at risk after a former school was targeted for the second time in less than two months.
"Fires like this pose a significant danger to the life of innocent people living nearby, to the firefighters responding to the emergency call as well as the people responsible for setting the blaze in the first place."
Station Manager Andy Kinsman
The derelict Edensor Technology College site in Longton was set alight at around 6am on Sunday.
An investigation has revealed that the blaze was started deliberately. It broke out in the assembly hall at Greendock Road building before spreading to the roof.
Fire engines from Hanley, Cheadle and Longton attended the incident along with the aerial ladder platform from Longton.
It took more than 20 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. The last crew left the scene at 12.52pm.
Station Manager Andy Kinsman said: “Fires like this pose a significant danger to the life of innocent people living nearby, to the firefighters responding to the emergency call as well as the people responsible for setting the blaze in the first place.
“The arsonists also run the risk of being sentenced to up to two years in prison or being given a maximum fine of £5,000. Being involved in this type of anti-social behaviour not only has short term effects but could have a devastating impact on young people’s long term employment prospects should they be prosecuted.”
The Service recently launched the Flames Aren’t Games campaign which aims to send the number of deliberate fires – which often see an increase during school holidays - plummeting.
Crews dealt with 2,281 small fires – including grass and bin blazes - in 2013 and 3,505 in 2011. These two years are comparable due to similar weather conditions.
There were 433 in the east of the county, 1,413 in the north and 435 in the west in 2013. This compares to 712, 1,812 and 981 respectively in 2011.
For more information visit http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/flames-arent-games.asp