Express & Star

Fire at community centre believed to have been started deliberately

The cause of a fire which damaged the roof of a community centre has been determined as having being started deliberately.

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The fire at Netherend Neighbourhood Centre on the border of Cradley and Halesowen saw nearby streets closed off and 25 firefighters called to the scene to tackle the blaze, which broke out around 4.45pm on Thursday.

Fire chiefs have said that the blaze was started deliberately and is now being investigated.

Five fire engines and 4x4 brigade response vehicle were sent to the scene, alongside an hydraulic aerial platform, and discovered the fire in the roof space of the vacant community centre on Mogul Lane.

The fire was tackled by Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus on the hydraulic platform and was confirmed as extinguished and the building made safe by 8.24pm, with no injuries reported.

Netherend Neighbourhood Centre was put up for sale last year

The fire saw Mogul Lane closed at the junction of Park Lane while crews dealt with the blaze.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: "Shortly before 4.45pm on Thursday, April 4, we responded to the junction of Wrens Square and Mogul Lane, on the border of Cradley and Halesowen.

"Five fire engines and a 4×4 brigade response vehicle initially responded, crewed by 25 firefighters.

"A hydraulic aerial platform was also sent to the scene. The first appliance arrived at the incident within four minutes of being mobilised.

Netherend Neighbourhood Centre has been empty for four years

"This was a fire in the roof space of a single-storey void community centre.

"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire, accessing it with the hydraulic platform. There were no casualties.

"Mogul Lane at the junction of Park Lane was closed whilst we worked at the scene.

"We revisited the premises twice to check for hotspots and none were found."

West Midlands Police have been contacted for a comment.