An area of Hartlepool town centre has been closed as flames rip through the former Wesley nightclub.
Police and Fire Fighters were quickly on the scene of the blaze at the former Wesley Nightclub and Chruch in Hartlepool.
The Grade II Listed Building has stood empty for a number of years and is a very iconic building within Hartlepool.
Trevor Sherwood Police Hour editor said “The flames are reaching 20ft in the air and a large number of fire appliances are on the scene loud explosions can be heard from inside the building”
“I arrived on scene just before the first fire appliance got there, loud bangs could be heard from inside and the fire quickly took hold”
“It was over 30 minutes before Cleveland Fire could get a hose safely on the building as they needed an aerial platform”.
Hugh flames can be seen for several miles as firefighters tackle the blaze. It took Firefighters almost 30 minutes before they were able to get a hose onto the fire which seemed to be mainly on the roof of the building with flames up to 20ft.
Firefighters have been called to a blaze at the former Wesley nightclub and church in Wesley Square, Hartlepool.
The Wesley Chruch opened n 1872 and became an iconic image within Hartlepool sadly the church closed in 1973 and later reopened as a nightclub in the early 2000s and then later a gym complex.
The business was closed and has been empty for over 10 years left to fall to bits with many people within Hartlepool hoping the building could be brought back to life.
Cleveland Fire Brigade was alerted to the fire just after 9pm and with a large number of fire appliances being sent the scene.
Cleveland Police assisted the fire brigade by enforcing a number of road closures on Victoria Road and Raby Road.
We have contacted Cleveland Fire Brigade for comment.
Members of the public are being warned to keep their windows shut as thick smoke is billowing across the centre of Hartlepool.
Cleveland Police have released a statement “Officers have been called to a report of a fire at an empty building known as the Wesley Nightclub on Victoria Road in Hartlepool on Saturday 9th December”
“Police are currently on scene with Cleveland Fire Brigade and it is believed no one is injured at this time.”
“Victoria Road and Wesley Square are currently closed and people are advised to avoid these areas until further notice.”
Anyone who may have witnessed what happened leading up to the fire is requested to contact Cleveland Police on 101.