23 September 2017   |  Last Updated 19-12-2014 11:26

      Thursday 11, December 2014

      "Devastating" fire at Withington Day Centre


      A FIRE at Minehead Resource centre in Withington left fire fighters working late through the night.

       

      Following reports of smoke coming from the centre on Dermot Murphy Close at around 9pm, the fire fighters headed out to tackle the blaze which they say was assisted by the strong winds currently affecting the Greater Manchester area.



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      According to Councillor Paul Andrews, Executive Member for Adults Health and Well-being for Manchester City Council, the reasons for the fire starting are yet to be discovered.


      "There was a fire started at 9 'o clock last night and obviously it's gone straight through the building and destroyed it. With a great deal of luck nobody was injured but the building has actually been devastated."

       

      The full building was ridden with flames requiring four fire crews and an aerial platform to put it out. The Councillor is yet to find out whether the building can be salvaged or if it must be demolished. Many of the streets surrounding the area are still covered in hoses with the building still smoking the following morning.


      He said "It's heartbreak. It's a well loved resource which is now gone. As far as the service is concerned we've got a similar facility in the North of the city called Heathfields and one in the south of the city - Hall lane. We're trying to look in the local community for a suitable building in the interim to enable the people who can't travel to actually stay within this local area.

      Police officers have been going door to door asking locals to keep doors and windows closed but have not evacuated any residents.

      He said "Hopefully at some point we'll be told actually how the fire started."

      Marie Thomas, a resident from the area who lives opposite the centre explained that she was shocked to see the fire having not heard or seen anything for some time. "About 8.30 I came to put the bin out and I saw the fire engine. I wondered why it was here and something caught my eye and then I saw the blaze. I wondered how long it had been going on, I didn't hear a siren I heard nothing."

      Marie also explained how she heard from a fireman what they believed to have happened.

      "Well I got told last night that they thought it was kids. Where the entrance is to the building that's actually a bus stop as well and apparently they think that kids have rammed the bench up against the doors and that's where they think the fire started."

      Due to the severity of the blaze it is a possibility that the fire happened intentionally.

      She added "Most municipals buildings want burning down but that particular one worked."

      By Adam Stevenson

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