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Second blaze at the same building sparks criminal inquiry
Police and fire investigators are probing a second alleged arson attack on the former snooker hall in Lawkholme.
Residents of nearby streets had to leave their homes in the early hours of Monday as the building blazed.
This was the second time householders had been evacuated in less than a week due to a fire at the Grange Street premises.
Crews from six fire stations battled for about four hours to bring the latest fire under control, and smoke could still be seen rising from the empty shell of the building – the former Peter Black Car Museum – when daylight arrived.
Incident commander, Andy Newman, said that when crews arrived at 2am, the priority had been to protect neighbouring houses.
He added: “The row of terraced houses in Wren Street was in serious danger of catching fire.”
Mr Newman said the latest fire gutted every part of the building that had not been damaged last week.
He added: “Materials were stored in this end of the building – fabrics and plastics. It was full of stock of various types.”
Following the first fire last week, investigators were initially hampered by the dangerous state of the structure.
Teams were eventually able to enter the remains of the three-storey premises at the weekend, following some demolition work.
About 70 firefighters from across the district tackled the first inferno on New Year’s Eve, limiting damage to one end of the building, including a shop unit and storage area.
A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman this week confirmed fire investigations were ongoing, adding: “We are treating both fires as suspected deliberate ignition.”
Detective Inspector Ryan Bragg, of Bradford CID, said: “We are investigating the fire at the snooker club from the early hours of Monday as an incident of arson.
“We are also looking into links between this fire and the one at the same premises on December 31, 2013.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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