Firebug strikes at ex-nightspot

Former nightclub, Syndicate which was the scene of an arson attack in the early hours of Sunday morning
Former nightclub, Syndicate which was the scene of an arson attack in the early hours of Sunday morning
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An arson attack has been labelled “stupid” after destroying part of a former Blackpool superclub.

Firefighters were called out to the site of the former nightclub Syndicate on Church Street at 5.50am this morning.

Forest Gate crew manager Darren Gregson said the fire “had the potential to be a lot more serious”

He said: “Luckily the fire was confined to a small area at the rear of the building but if the fire had got hold with all the piles of wood and debris, it had the potential to be a lot more serious and spread to surrounding buildings.

“Someone managed to get past security fencing at the rear of the building and forced one of the old escape fire doors to gain entry.

“Whoever started the fire was obviously stock-piling all the materials in the building for demolition.

Det Sgt Stuart Reid of Blackpool CID ,said: “We are treating the fire as suspicious and investigations are underway and shall continue throughout the day into how the fire was started.

“We currently have no suspects in connection with the fire but we will wait to see what fire crews have uncovered when they return.”

Police confirmed there were no casualties or injuries as the building is currently derelict.

Crew manager Gregson added that it was a “tricky” and “horrible” fire to deal with due to the difficulties faced by derelict buildings.

He said: “We had to commit crews straight away and in affect they are going in blind, not to mention the potential for holes in the walls and floors.

“It’s a very stupid and strange reason to put your life at risk with no apparent reason for doing it.”

The Church Street venue is set to be demolished after Blackpool Council confirmed in October that it would make way for a car park in the short term.

The site has played a huge part in the town’s entertainment offerings with the Beatles playing concerts there in 1963 and 1965 when known as the ABC theatre.

The Syndicate closed in August 2011 after nine years at the centre of the town’s clubbing scene.

The site is seen as a key strategic component for the council moving forward and could be used for a new hotel to serve the Winter Gardens.