KEEP AWAY from dangerous derelict buildings, is the message from North East Lincolnshire Council as the half-term holiday approaches.
The warning has been given after the Council, Humberside Police and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service have been called out to fires at abandoned buildings where intruders have been seen on the premises.
One of the latest incidents was at a derelict building in Eleanor Street that the Council has had to secure after its owners failed to do so despite repeated requests.
Three young people were seen entering and leaving the premises before the fire started and a rough sleeper was found inside.
Cllr David Bolton, portfolio holder for Safer Communities and Public Protection at the Council, said:
“I ask that parents and other people who work with children and young people warn them of the dangers they face. Trespassing in derelict buildings could ultimately leave you with a serious injury or even kill you.”
Neil Clark, Community Protection and Compliance Manager at the Council, added:
“Derelict and abandoned buildings can be dangerous and however much you want to go inside, don’t, it’s not safe. Often they’re in a poor state of repair and the floors might be weak or rotted, roofs could collapse at any moment and debris will be lying around or could fall on you from the ceiling. Even though a building looks abandoned, it will still have an owner and if you’re on the site without permission you’re trespassing.”
Nick Tharratt, Group Manager, Public Safety South, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was concerned over the stretch on resources:
“The increase in call outs to derelict building fires is a cause of great concern. These buildings are inherently dangerous places for those who may be trapped inside and even for firefighters in the event of a rescue. Fire damage and water damage from previous incidents may well have made floors, roofs and stairways structurally unsafe which makes them nothing short of death traps.
“Sending engines to deliberate fires anywhere in Grimsby is ultimately taking resources away from where they may be needed elsewhere in North East Lincolnshire. I would urge those responsible to stay out of these derelict buildings for their own safety. It is only a matter of time before we are going to be faced with a serious injury or worse.”
Owners of run-down, empty buildings are asked to make sure their property is safe and all entry points are secured.
You can report derelict property and empty homes on the Council’s website at www.nelincs.gov.uk/report-it/.