AN OLD college building involved in a ferocious fire has now been deemed to be unsafe, with the cause of the blaze suspected to be arson.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) was called to reports of a derelict building fire in Birkdale Road, Dewsbury at 10.51pm on Easter Monday.

The structure was once part of a former Kirklees College campus.

Ten fire crews rushed to the scene, from Dewsbury, Ossett, Morley, Hunslet, Wakefield, and Rastrick stations.

A spokesperson for WYFRS said the upper floors and roof of the building were alight, covering an area of roughly 60 metres by 30 metres.

The blaze was extinguished but four crews remained at the scene until 4.30pm on Tuesday to dampen down, as well as monitor hotspots and the structural safety of the building.

Fire Investigation was also at the scene on Tuesday and WYFRS has now revealed the building was significantly damaged, leading to it becoming unsafe.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Drone footage of the fire in a derelict building at the former Kirklees College campus in Birkdale Road, DewsburyDrone footage of the fire in a derelict building at the former Kirklees College campus in Birkdale Road, Dewsbury (Image: CG Skins)

Investigators also said the fire began in the roof space and they suspect it was started deliberately.

The matter has now been handed over to police.

Full WYFRS statement

"Due to significant damage to the building following the fire we are unable to access the now unsafe structure.

"We believe that the fire started in the roof space and is suspected to be arson.

"West Yorkshire Police are now leading this investigation."

Footage of the fire

A video of the blaze shows a vicious fire underway, with large flames at the top of the building, an orange glow emanating from the upper-floor windows, and a thick plume of smoke rising from the property.

West Yorkshire Police were called to the scene by the fire service at 11.04pm on Monday and went to assist them.

A spokesperson for the force said this afternoon: "It has been recorded as an offence of arson and enquiries are ongoing."

Detective Inspector Paul Greatorex, of Kirklees Police, launched an appeal for information.

Anyone who can assist the investigation should contact Kirklees CID on 101, or using the contact options on the West Yorkshire Police website.

You should quote log number: 1742 of April 1. 

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on its website, or on: 0800 555 111.