Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Sunday, 23 November 2008

Former asylum fire investigated

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)

An investigation is continuing into the cause of a fire which has destroyed the main hall of a former psychiatric unit.

Around 50 firefighters and eight appliances were used to fight the fire at the North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh on Saturday.

The main hall and the roof in the hospital, which has grade II listed buildings, were gutted in the blaze.

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

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 which broke out at 0619 GMT.

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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