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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Investigation into church blazes
church on fire, Swansea
The blaze was tackled by 40 firefighters
Police are treating fires at two churches on the same road in Swansea on Friday morning as suspicious.

Firefighters from across the city tackled a large blaze at the disused Argyle church on St Helens road at about 0500 BST.

church on fire, Swansea
Residents were evacuated from the area

The second blaze at 0900 BST was at St Andrews Church -- about 200 yards from the first fire.

Officers say they're not discounting the possibility that both fires are connected.

Roads in the area have been closed and residents were evacuated from neighbouring houses as a precaution.

They are having to stay in accommodation provided by the local authorities.

Police say St Helens Road will be closed to through-traffic in the area of Argyle street for "a couple of days", while remains of the buildings are made safe.

Diversions will be in place and local businesses will still be open.

The fire at the former Argyle church, which also ignited a gas leak, destroyed the building.

Eyewitnesses reported a huge fire with sparks flying everywhere.

Firefighters responded to a 999 emergency call from residents who said they heard a loud bang and the sound of people screaming.

There have been no reports of any injuries and a joint investigation by the fire brigade and police has begun.

church on fire, Swansea
The fire gutted the building

Senior Division officer Tudor Morgan, of Mid and West Wales Fire Brigade, who was at the scene said: "There was nobody staying there and from what we gather the last people in the vicinity were there about 0330 BST.

"An investigation has started immediately but we have no idea as to the cause at the moment."

The Argyle church building ad not been used for many years and was being turned into flats.

It had suffered structural damage during the Second World War bombing of Swansea.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Swansea Central CID on 01792 456999.


Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

08 Sep 02 | Wales
17 Aug 02 | Wales
16 Aug 02 | Wales
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