Massive fire causes 'irreversible' damage to former North Wales Hospital in Denbigh

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

A HUGE fire has left part of an old hospital building charred and "beyond repair". 

North Wales Fire and Rescue were called to the derelict North Wales Hospital in Denbigh just after 3am today (Friday) after a blaze ripped through the building. More than 40 firefighters from Denbigh, Ruthin, Rhyl, Holywell, Abergele, Cerigydrudion and Mold attended the incident.

The fire happened within a wing of the main grade II listed building, an area that was earmarked for restoration and re-development. Due to the seriousness of the blaze, this part will now have to be demolished. 

A spokesperson from Denbighshire County Council said: “Investigations have begun into the fire that occurred early this morning at the former North Wales Hospital in Denbigh.

"The fire was contained within a wing of the main building. Unfortunately, this is part of the building that was earmarked for restoration and re-development, but because of the seriousness of the fire, the damage is beyond repair and will need to be demolished.

"We are shocked and appalled at the actions of those who have caused so much damage to a site that we have been trying to protect for many years, pursuing every legal option to try to achieve a sustainable outcome for the site.

"It is reckless behaviour which also puts lives at risk and we urge people to stay away from the site.

“It is still the council’s intention to complete the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the site and then transfer the site to The North Wales Building Preservation Trust (NWBPT) who are currently completing the details of their business plan prior to the site being transferred.”

The council is supporting North Wales Police and the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who are leading on the investigations.

The old North Wales Hospital, also known as Denbigh Asylum, was designed by Thomas Fulljames. Building started in 1844 and completed in 1848.

A spokesperson from the fire service added: "The roof of the building has collapsed leaving the building in an unsafe condition."

See full story in the Free Press

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