Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 13:31 UK

Historic house 'wrecked by arson'

Firefighters at New Potter Grange, Goole [picture by Phil Norton]
The severely damaged building has now been demolished

A fire which destroyed an historic house in Goole is believed to have been started by arsonists, police have said.

It was initially feared people may have been inside New Potter Grange, a large Victorian building which was gutted in the blaze in the early hours of Monday.

However, Humberside Police said on Tuesday: "There is no suggestion anyone was inside the building."

The 127-year-old house, which was badly damaged in a previous arson attack last December, has been demolished.

Police said there were no plans to carry out a full search of the site.

Falling masonry

A force spokeswoman said: "It does appear to have been started deliberately and police are investigating it as an arson.

"Scenes of crime officers are at the scene taking photographs."

More than 20 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze at its height early on Monday.

Glenn Ramsden, from the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This has been an extremely complicated incident for the fire service to deal with.

"At one point during firefighting pieces of masonry were falling on to firefighters."

On the advice of a council buildings control officer, fire crews retreated to a safe distance due to the instability of the property which had sustained serious structural damage.

New Potter Grange was built in 1881 by local businessman William Smith and had remained unaltered since Victorian times, with features including caustic mosaic tiles in the hall and original fireplaces.


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