Arsonists blamed for fire at former Ramsdens store site which led to animals being evacuated
Animals had to be evacuated from the neighbouring Cleethorpes Veterinary Clinic
A fire at the former Ramsdens building on Cleethorpes Road, on the border of the Sidney Sussex ward, was started by arsonists, Humberside Fire and Rescue have confirmed.
Emergency services were called to the part demolished building at around 6.30pm on Wednesday, after receiving reports of a fire inside the site.
Animals from the neighbouring Cleethorpes Veterinary Clinic had to be evacuated, as firefighters entered the vets to ensure that no damage would be caused to their premises.
Owner of the veterinary clinic George Cooper praised Humberside Fire and Rescue for their quick response to the fire and their “caring and efficient” approach in helping the clinic and its animals during the ordeal.
He said that they came into the vets shortly after arriving at the fire and quickly ensured that the premises would be free from smoke, before helping them evacuate the six cats, a dog and three legged tortoise to the Blue Cross Animal Hospital, who kindly offered to look after the animals overnight.
Mr Cooper said: “When the fire started, we began to get a little bit of smoke coming into the clinic, but luckily it wasn’t anything too serious.
“The firefighters were just brilliant in coming in to help us, and make sure that no further smoke would enter the building before they helped move the six cats, a dog and a tortoise that we had in under our are care overnight as a precaution.
“They were so efficient and caring in helping us, even though the fire was their main priority and I could not thank them enough for the help that they have given us.”
Mr Cooper also highlighted that the former Ramsdens site had been attracting groups of youths in recent weeks, who have been climbing on the roofs of buildings, but had not known any of them to have started any fires.
Black smoke could be seen billowing from a section of the building that has not yet been knocked downon Wednesday.
Five appliances from Peaks Lane Fire Station were sent to the scene, including a hydraulic platform.
Firefighters tackled the blaze from the exterior of the building, before using the platform to fight the fire from a more elevated position.
It took around three hours for the fire service to carry out their work in tackling the blaze, which luckily did not to spread to nearby buildings.
Humberside Fire and Rescue group manager Simon Donnachie said: “We were called to a fire in a derelict building that is currently under deconstruction.
”The fire has started on the inside of the building, but we are unable to establish the cause at the moment and specialist fire investigation officers are on their way to the scene.
“We sent four fire engines to the scene along with a hydraulic platform, and have begun fighting the fire through the roof of the building, and are taking measures to ensure that the fire does not spread to any of the buildings next door.
“We have sent firefighters into the Cleethorpes Veterinary Centre next door to ensure that it does not succumb to any smoke damage, and a number of the animals have been moved to make sure that they do not come to any harm.
The demolition of the Ramsdens store site is currently nearing completion to be replaced with a new retail park.
A spokesman for Humberside Fire and Rescue said: “It is believed the fire was started due to deliberate ignition.”
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