Youths start fire in basement of derelict church

Firefighters were called into action after a blaze was started in an abandoned church.

Crews from Leigh, Atherton and Hindley fire stations were called to the derelict St Thomas' Church in Chapel Street, Leigh, at around 2.16pm today (Thursday, January 23), to reports of a fire inside the building.

Firefighters at the scene in Leigh this afternoon

Firefighters at the scene in Leigh this afternoon

A firefighter from Leigh fire station who attended the scene said: "It looks like youths have gained entry into the basement and set fire to an old tent that was in there, presumably it was from the old Scouts hut that used to be at the back of the church."

Two teams of firefighters used breathing apparatus and two jets to douse the flames, and were at the scene for approximately two hours.

Following the incident, the fire service is inviting local residents to have a new smoke alarm fitted, free of charge, by calling 088 555 815.