Arson probe launched after fire crews called to derelict church in South Bank

A fire at a derelict church is being treated as arson, the fire service has confirmed.

Cleveland Fire Brigade crews flooded Middlesbrough Road, in South Bank, on Thursday evening after a blaze broke out a disused church. Firefighters arrived at the scene around 6.37pm and used an aerial platform to extinguish the flames from above.

The brigade has now confirmed the roof was destroyed in the blaze and the cause of the fire is believed to be "deliberate". A spokesperson said: "Fire in derelict church. One ground monitor and CARP were used to extinguish the fire and two breathing apparatus used.

Firefighters tackled a blaze at a derelict building in South Bank
Firefighters tackled a blaze at a derelict building in South Bank -Credit:Ian Mcpherson

"Three fire engines were in attendance from Grangetown, Redcar and Saltburn which included the Combined Aerial Rescue Platform (CARP). Roof destroyed by fire. We left the scene at 22:26 and the building was reinspected at 07:30 (31/05/24) and there were no signs of fire. The cause is believed to be deliberate, however, investigations will take place as per our usual procedure."

In an earlier statement issued on Thursday evening, the brigade confirmed their attendance they said: "We are currently dealing with a derelict building fire in the South Bank area. We have two fire engines and an aerial appliance at the incident and we are tackling the fire defensively. Crews have done a fantastic job but will be on scene for a few more hours."