Two injured after arsonists torch vacant Flintshire supermarket

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

TWO firefighters were injured battling a huge blaze believed to have been started by arsonists.

The firemen sustained injuries while tackling the fire at the former Morrisons supermarket in River Lane, Saltney, which broke out shortly before 5.30pm on Tuesday.

A 39-year-old fireman from Deeside suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to hospital, but discharged a short time later and a 47-year-old firefighter from Mold sustained a leg injury and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has now launched an investigation into how both injuries occurred.

After the fire took hold it was feared an 11-year-old boy, who had been reported missing, was trapped inside the burning building, but he was later found safe and well nearby.

Fire crews from Deeside, Mold, Buckley, Flint and Wrexham were called to battle the blaze and remained at the scene for more than five hours.

Firefighters from the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were also called upon to help extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but a spokesman for the fire service said early indications suggest it was started deliberately.

The former supermarket has stood empty for about four years and community leaders say it has become a target for anti-social behaviour.

Saltney Cllr Klaus Armstrong-Braun said: “We have had trouble before with people breaking in. We have had thieves go in and steal all the metal and copper.

“Arson attacks are happening everywhere, but it puts people lives at risk. We need to try and make sure these empty properties are secure to prevent arson attacks.”

Cllr Armstrong-Braun is now calling for Morrisons, which owns the land, to make the building more secure.

He added: “The building was extremely insecure and I’m calling on the company now to make the building more secure as next time it could have far more serious consequences.”

A Morrisons spokesman said: “I can confirm that Morrisons is the owner of the store and it has remained empty since the Co-op vacated the premises in 2008.
Morrisons continue to extensively market the store and we remain hopeful of finding a tenant.” 

See full story in the Leader

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