Firefighters have tackled a large fire at the disused St Georges Hospital on Corporation Street in Stafford.
"Initially firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent into the building but they were later withdrawn for safety reasons and from that point we tackled the fire externally"
Stan Cooper, Station Manager
The emergency call for the incident was received at 3.39am on Saturday morning and at the height of the incident there were eight fire engines along with a water carrier and two aerial ladder platforms. The fire was in a central tower which was approximately 30 metres in height.
Station Manager, Stan Cooper said: "This was a particularly difficult incident because on arrival we struggled to access the site due to the security measures in place. Firefighters had to cut through metal posts and gates in order to drive onto the site.
"Initially firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent into the building but they were later withdrawn for safety reasons and from that point we tackled the fire externally."
The fire was completely brought under control by 6.30am on Sunday morning however Firefighters spent the rest of Sunday and overnight into Monday morning damping down remaining hotspots. At present one crew from Gnosall remain at the incident. Severe fire damage has been caused to the central tower and the west annexe of the building.
At this stage the fire is believed to have been started deliberately; however Fire Investigation Officers, alongside the police, will be continuing their investigations today.