Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cricket Team Members Left Devastated after Fire

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cricket Team Members Left Devastated after Fire

Article excerpt

MEMBERS of a cricket club have been left devastated after vandals broke into the building and set it alight.

It is the third time over the Christmas period yobs have targeted East Lancs Paper Mill Cricket Club, in Radcliffe, but the latest attack on Friday has caused the most serious damage.

The inside of the building has been left with blackened walls caused by smoke damage and a section of the roof missing.

Bottles of alcohol, beer cans and optics in the bar have been stolen or trashed.

The clubhouse will need to be completely refurbished in time for the cricket season in four months, which is expected to cost between £15,000 to £20,000.

A planned New Year's Eve party has been cancelled.

Firefighters and Greater Manchester Police were called to reports of a fire at the club on Croft Lane, at around 3.40pm on Friday.

It is believed around four to five people managed to get inside the building through the roof.

They then trashed the inside of the building before torching furniture and rubbish.

Fire investigators think the yobs were also trying to set alight to gas canisters being kept inside the building, which could have resulted in an explosion if they were successful.

The club has for 75 years. carry on this going to Club Andrew Firefighters remained at the scene for several hours making sure the building was safe, isolated the electrics and removed the gas canisters.

A joint investigation with GMP has been launched.

Andrew Lomax, 41, vice chairman and cricket captain, said: "The whole inside of the building is damaged by smoke. It needs to be completely refurbished.

"The issue we have got is we cannot get insurance, as it is a wooden structure. The money needs to be raised or paid for by ourselves."

He added: "Somebody reported the fire yesterday, they said they could see smoke coming out of the building. …

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