Arsonists torch old college block

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Arsonists torched a derelict building at the old Hastings College site.

Six fire engines were dispatched to the site in Archery Road at 4.47pm on Monday after reports were made of smoke coming from the building.

Crews confirmed there was a fire on the fifth floor of a tower block building.

The aerial ladder platform was used to providing lighting.

Eight breathing apparatus were used along with main jets to put the fire out.

The cause of the fire was a deliberate act of arson and Sussex Police is now investigating.

Councillor Phil Scott, labour group Leader on the East Sussex Combined Fire Authority said:

“Yet another fire has been set allegedly this time by a number of girls.

“The fire was on the fifth floor so in-itself a challenge for the Fire Service.

“Fortunately on this occasion no one was hurt.

“However it is high time that either a permanent site security operation was set up to deter intruders or that a demolition order is sought by HBC to ensure that the building is demolished in good time and poses no future threat.

“I will be pursuing that with HBC officers to determine the process and who would initiate such a move,

“My concerns as a Fire Authority Member are for the safety of anyone that should enter the building either to seek shelter or seek mischief and set fires, ultimately it is our fire fighters that have to risk their lives to deal with any fire incidents that we are most concerned about”

The building has been derelict since late 2009 when the college moved over to its new site at Station Plaza.