Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

Blaze at former psychiatric unit

Smoke billowing out of the North Wales Hospital (pic Colin Jones)
Around 50 firefighters were called to the scene of the fire (pic: Colin Jones)

Firefighters have contained a fire which broke out at a former psychiatric unit.

Crews were called to the North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh at 0619 GMT on Saturday morning.

The fire has destroyed the main hall in the hospital, which has grade II listed buildings. The roof has also been destroyed.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched by North Wales Police and the fire service.

Around 50 firefighters and eight appliances and crews were at the scene at the height of the blaze.

A number of firefighters are likely to remain at the scene for a number of hours.

Smoke billowing out of the North Wales Hospital (pic Colin Jones)
The fire was in the building's main hall

There were no reports of anybody being injured as a result of the fire.

Colin Jones who lives nearby said he was "saddened" at the fire on the site.

"I got there about nine o'clock and all you could see was smoke pouring through the building roof. All the roof and windows have gone," he said.

"There were lots of firefighters and they had to run hoses from the town because the water to the hospital has been off for about 10 years.

"We are all so disappointed," he added.

Recently protests had been held at the site by local people at plans by the owner to demolish some of the buildings, which had been added after the main building had been constructed, in order for the development of new housing.

But Ayub Bhailock, a consultant with Freemont Denbigh Ltd, said permission for demolition of certain buildings had been issued three years ago, in conjunction with Denbighshire Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and Cadw.

At the time of the protests, he said: "The main purpose of this is to protect and maintain the main building. It's a beautiful building.

"I think people might be worried that the whole site is being demolished - that's misconceived, it's the later buildings that were added."

The site was also used in a recent episode of Living TV's Most Haunted Live show.

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