Victoria Hall fire: Investigation continues into blaze at historic South Shields building
An investigation is continuing into the cause of a blaze at the Grade II-listed Victoria Hall building in South Shields.
No one was injured in the incident and an investigation remains ongoing to establish the cause of the fire.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 11pm on Saturday, May 29 we received a report of a fire at the Victoria Hall on Fowler Street, South Shields.
“Emergency services attended and the fire was extinguished. Thankfully nobody was injured.
“Police are supporting the fire service to ascertain how the fire started and whether any criminal offences were carried out.”
However it later fell into disrepair and the space was used by cannabis farmers before police raids in 2014 and 2019.
In September 2019, plans were put in by Gateshead-based Property Developments Ltd to South Tyneside Council seeking permission to turn it into an aparthotel with a host of other improvements.
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We can confirm on Saturday, May 29 crews attended a building fire at Fowler Street in South Shields.
"The first of the appliances were on the scene at 11.04pm, which is a response time of five-minutes from the initial call.
“In total five appliances attended the incident with crews from Hebburn Community Fire Station, Marley Park Community Fire Station, South Shields Community Fire Station, and Washington Community Fire Station.
“A request was made for the use of an Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP). Crews left the scene at 3am on May 30.
“We are now engaged in a multi-agency investigation involving Northumbria Police to identify the source of the fire.”
Emma Lewell-Buck, the town’s Labour MP, said she plans to speak to the council this week in the hope its owner can be contacted and the site saved.
She said: “It’s another one of our gorgeous, historic buildings which should be preserved.
"I think it’s often the problem where you’ve got a private landlord that it can be hard to establish who they are, but it would be good if we could get it back into use somehow.
"I have walked passed it, before this fire, and been heartbroken about the state it’s been left in."
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell us Something’ page of the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101 quoting log 1399 290521.