Destruction of old club ‘looks likely’

Firefighters at the scene of a major blaze at the former Comrades Club on Adelaide Street in Blackpool. July 13, 2017. Credit: Wes Holmes
Firefighters at the scene of a major blaze at the former Comrades Club on Adelaide Street in Blackpool. July 13, 2017. Credit: Wes Holmes
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The demolition of an historic ex-servicemans club is ‘likely’ after it was gutted by a huge fire.

Police and fire crews remained at the disused Comrades Club on Adelaide Street yesterday, one day after blaze broke out in the property, causing massive damage.

Neighbours were evacuated from their homes as fire crews battled the flames at 5.20am on Thursday.

A police spokesman said: “It looks likely the building will have to be demolished.

“Investigation work is difficult as it is very dangerous to work on the site.”

Yesterday The Gazette reported that Blackpool Council hoped to save the historic building, which dates back to Victorian times.

Firefighters have now removed falling debris from the site and roads have been reopened to traffic.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “We have been there and some fencing has been put up to keep the site secure.

“The immediate danger of anything falling off has been dealt with.

“A structural survey will need to be done to find out what happened to the building and what can be saved and what can’t be saved.

“We will be liasing with the owners to ensure this structural survey takes place.”

The Comrades Club is owned by the South King Street Medical Centre and the Adelaide Street Family Practice, which has now reopened to patients after being closed on Thursday due to the fire.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, and investigations on the site are understood to be ‘difficult’.

A fire service spokesman said: “Nothing has emerged yet in terms of a cause, but it is a derelict building. It’s hard to fathom how a fire could suddenly erupt, but it’s not unheard of.

“There is a large amount of evidence that needs to be investigated.

“Currently, whatever we can find out from the outside will be investigated.

“Interviews will be carried out and CCTV footage reviewed.”

Lancashire Police said CID officers had not yet been asked to assist in the investigation.