New! Harrogate fire 'warnings ignored'

A Harrogate resident says he had been warning for months of the dangers of the scene of a major blaze earlier this morning.

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 10:20 am
The Harrogate blaze rages this morning in Starbeck near residents' houses. (Picture by Andy Dennis)

With the blaze at the former Veterans Hut at Starbeck Bowling now extinguished by Harrogate fire brigade, the Starbeck resident said the dangers had been there all along because of local vandals.

Andy Dennis, a staff nurse on the Intensive Care Unit at Harrogate District Hospital who also work with Medecins Sans Frontieres, told the Harrogate Advertiser he had spotted the blaze near his house at 6.30am as he was getting up.

Aftermath - The smouldering remains of Starbeck Bowling Club's veterans club on Spa Lane in Harrogate today. (Picture by Andy Dennis)

He said: "I opened the curtains at 6.30am as I was getting ready for work and the fire was blazing about 20 metres away.

"The old Veterans Club has been a source of immense concern for the neighbouring resident .There are a number of elderly people who have had to put up with constant vandalism of the disused club, drug use inside the building and the ever present and many times reported, by me, risk of fire.

"I last informed the council that it was insecure on November 19 but nothing happened. There have been break-ins there."

"The bowling club is popular and used regularly. and doesn't deserve this."