FIRE investigators have confirmed that the fire at a Tamworth hospital on Monday night (February 11) was started deliberately.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to The George Bryan Centre on Plantation Lane at 8.52pm to a report of a serious blaze. At the height of the incident 10 pumps were in attendance including the Aerial Ladder Platform from Longton.
The crews successfully evacuated 20 people including patients and staff and fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of the fire.
Station Manager, Rob Horton said: “We conducted a thorough investigation of the scene with colleagues from West Midlands Fire Service and Staffordshire Police forensics officers and we believe the fire to have been started deliberately.
The matter is now being investigated by colleagues at Staffordshire Police.”
Staffordshire Police confirmed shortly before 1.00 am on Tuesday morning that they had arrested a 43-year-old man in relaiton to the blaze. He has since been released under investigation.
The George Bryan Centre offers inpatient support for patients suffering from mental ill-health and sits in the grounds of Sir Robert Peel Hospital, off Watling Street.
Neil Carr, Chief Executive of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who operate the site said, “I would like to pay tribute to the staff who dealt with this emergency with great professionalism and ensured everyone was evacuated in a safe and timely way.
We have robust emergency evacuation procedures in the Trust which are regularly tested, in fact, the George Bryan Centre had carried out a fire drill just last week and I am confident this was an important factor in the excellent response to this situation.
We recognise this was a traumatic and distressing event for all involved and we will now ensure that all those affected receive whatever help and care they need to support their emotional well being.”