Stoke & Staffordshire

Two fires in Stoke-on-Trent were 'deliberate and linked'

Visitor centre at Park Hall
Image caption Water was pumped from a nearby fishing pool to put out the fire at the visitor centre in Park Hall

Firefighters have confirmed that two fires in the same part of north Staffordshire were deliberate and linked.

The visitor centre at Park Hall Country Park in Stoke-on-Trent was completely destroyed and will have to be demolished.

The other was a barn fire at a riding school in nearby Weston Coyney.

Staffordshire police and fire crews were called to the two incidents within an hour of each other on Sunday night.

'Walking distance apart'

"Both fires were started deliberately," said fire investigation officer Kelvin Knapper.

"Obviously bonfire weekend is a notoriously busy time for us and by dealing with these incidents it meant that these crews weren't available to attend other incidents."

Staffordshire police officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

The fire service said three units, including a high-volume pump from Rugeley, were used to dampen down the fire at Park Hall Country Park.

It added that the Rugeley pump was required due to the remote location, and additional water was pumped from a nearby fishing pool.

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