Arsonists are believed to have sparked two blazes in a Staffordshire town in less than 12 hours, including one at a former youth centre.
A thick plume of smoke spread from the now derelict West Cannock Sports Club in Hednesford.
This was followed by a separate blaze, also thought to have been started deliberately, when a shed was set alight in High Mount Street just after midnight. It spread, causing heat damage to part of the outside of the nearby house.
The fire at the youth centre started after a burglary in Bradbury Lane at around 4pm yesterday. Crews from Cannock and Rugeley were called as flames spread from one small room to another. It was feared the blaze could spread into the main room area but firefighters, including two in breathing apparatus, brought it under control.
They spent around an hour-and-a-half at the scene.
Crew manager Andy Read, from Cannock fire station, said: “It looks like somebody has broken into it and set a fire in one of the rooms at the rear of the building.
“It spread to an adjoining small room and it was going pretty well when we first go there. If it had been another five to 10 minutes it could have spread to the main part of the building. There was quite a lot of smoke going across the road.” The grounds were previously used by the Cannock Chase Football League for cup finals.
In the other blaze, a shed was set alight in High Mount Street, Hednesford, at just after midnight in the early hours of today.
Crews from Cannock were called and two firefighters put out the flames. The shed was destroyed in the fire.