Suspected Arson Attack
“POLICE and fire crews are combing the scene of a huge blaze which gutted a social club earmarked to become an Islamic cultural centre.
North Wales Police and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service visited the disused Shotton Lane Social Club five days after arsonists torched in order to establish whether the building was safe to enter.
The blaze broke out in the early hours of Friday, and police have confirmed they are treating the incident as suspicious.
Detective Chief Inspector Graham Talbot said: “The former social club, which remains owned by a brewery, has been secured as a crime scene and when we can commence our investigations it will be subject to forensic examination, which should help determine the cause of the fire.”
About 100 residents were evacuated from their homes over fears strong winds might spread the fire to adjacent properties.
Superintendent Dave Owens said: “Because of the windy weather the fire took hold very quickly and was difficult to bring under control. There were also compressed air cylinders in the club, which popped.
“It was very close to houses and if the wind had been blowing in another direction people could have lost their homes.”
Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society (FMCS) had been trying to raise £150,000 to buy the club – which had been closed since August – and turn it into an Islamic centre.
The plans provoked strong protests and about 100 members of right-wing group the English Defence League (EDL) marched through the streets of Shotton last month to voice their opposition.”