Derby fire: Listed goods yard blaze confirmed as arson

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Derelict building in Friar Gate Goods YardImage source, @DerbyshireARU
Image caption,
Firefighters were called to the blaze in the early hours

A blaze which ripped through a Grade II-listed warehouse in Derby was deliberate, it has been confirmed.

Crews were called to Friar Gate Goods Yard, off Stafford Street, at 01:13 BST and remained for much of the day, while smoke was seen over the city.

The goods yard, which was built in the 1870s, has been derelict for decades and there are no reports of injuries.

A police and fire service investigation found it was started deliberately and an arson investigation has begun.

Crews used water from the nearby Markeaton Brook to douse the fire but could not prevent much of the roof collapsing.

Image source, @DerbyshireARU
Image caption,
Water from a nearby brook is being used to tackle the fire

Gareth Murtagh, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, described the blaze as "significant" and said up to 45 firefighters were at the scene at its peak.

"There was certainly a lot of damage to the roof structure," he said.

"During our firefighting operation some of it has collapsed inside the building."

Police earlier urged people to avoid the area and keep windows closed, and tweeted: "We've just caught people trying to get into the site to have a look."

Friar Gate was closed for much of the day while Stafford Street, Uttoxeter New Road, Agard Street, and Great Northern Road were also affected.

Image source, Derbyshire Police
Image caption,
The police drone revealed the full scale of the damage from above

Historic England said the goods yard was built by Kirk & Randall of Sleaford between 1887-88 for the Great Northern Railway at its Friar Gate railway station.

Ashley Waterhouse, chairman of Derby Civic Society, said: "It is a sad day for Derby's architectural history."

Mr Murtagh said crews did not believe anyone was in the building when the blaze broke out.

He said: "The building is on a large patch of open ground. There have been reports of homeless people here previously."

The fire service said while firefighting had ceased, crews would regularly inspect the site.

Image source, @DerbyshireARU

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