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Call for action over arson eyesore in Keighley neighbourrhood
A Keighley neighbourhood remains blighted by the remnants of a burned down building, nearly four months after it was first hit by an arson attack.
People living close to the wrecked property at the junction of Lawkholme Lane and Grange Street are calling for action to resolve the situation.
Justin Taylor, 41, of Wren Street, said: “I’d like it to be pulled down, because it’s an eyesore. If this was anywhere else they would have knocked it down by now.”
The gutted property, which had housed a clothing storage area and a snooker hall, was first hit by a major blaze in the early hours of New Year’s Eve 2013.
Less than a week later what was left of the building was destroyed by a second fire. A fire service spokesman said both incidents were being treated as suspected arson.
Today, the building is still in ruins, with the roof and some of the outer walls lying in piles of rubble.
Keighley Central ward councillor, Abid Hussain, said: “Local residents are very concerned about this building – it does look terrible, and it’s a matter of public safety as well.
“I think it would need to be knocked down completely, but I know the council is working very hard on getting this sorted out.”
Mr Taylor, who was forced to leave his home twice when the fires broke out, said: “I think they must be waiting for the insurance company to pay out,” he said. “But putting that fencing round it doesn’t really stop people from getting inside.”
A 34-year-old mother of five, who also lives close to the destroyed property, said: “It’s like living next to a scrapyard.”
The woman, who did not want to be named, added that having to evacuate her home twice with her young children during the fires had been a traumatic experience. She said they were reminded of it every time they see the ruins nearby.
Julian Jackson, Bradford Council’s assistant director of planning, transportation and highways, said: “In the immediate aftermath of the fire we worked with the owners to make sure that the buildings were safe and secure.
“The ongoing security of the site is the responsibility of the owners. However, we recently carried out a site inspection and reminded the owners of their responsibilities."
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