A blaze ripped through a Grade II-listed building in Huddersfield - destined to be a wedding venue.
One third of the main frontage of the former Kirklees Council’s Fieldhead children’s home in Lindley has been left “gutted” by the blaze, which broke out in the early hours.
Four fire crews from Huddersfield, Rastrick and Halifax rushed to the building off Lidget Street after receiving a call at 5.41am.
They found flames coming out of the roof, which had caused the roof to fall in.
That plus warning signs about asbestos in the building forced firefighters to use an aerial platform to tackle the blaze.
Crews from Huddersfield and Rastrick stayed at the scene until late morning until the fire had been completely dampened down.
The building, which also includes adjoining sections, was in the process of being renovated to become a wedding venue, restaurant, hotel, spa, community room and bar.
Huddersfield Watch Commander Chris Bell, said: “We had to get our materials officer to come down to check the building to make sure it was safe to then enter.
“One third of the main front-facing building has been gutted by the fire– it’s had severe damage.
“The floorboards have also fallen in.
“We cannot yet confirm where the fire started and are unsure as to whether the building was left unsecure.
“It is currently being inspected by our fire investigation officer”.
Lindley councillor Mark Hemingway, who was on the scene, believed that the fire could have been deliberate.
Talking about it, he said: “We have been having problems with youths in the area, such as playgrounds being damaged and the police have been working with councillors.
“Building workers have also had problems with people getting into the site over the fence.
“The fire is such a shame because it’s a lovely building and I want to see it being put back into use.
“It will definitely set the owners back.”
Kirklees councillors gave the go-ahead for the re-vamp of the building back in April, which is being sold by Kirklees Council, to the applicant firm Bankgate.
It is currently waiting for the planning team to discharge a variation of conditions for a conversion and extension.