Tuesday, 15 March 2016

More than 50 firefighters spent hours fighting the fire, which has seriously damaged 16th century Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester.
16:39, UK,Tuesday 15 March 2016
Wythenshawe fire
A fire that caused serious damage to a Tudor mansion in Manchester may have been started deliberately, police say.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters were called to Wythenshawe Hall just after 3.30am when a fire broke out in the roof.
Ten fire engines were called to the 16th century former museum and art gallery and a cherry-picker style device was used to get water into the roof space as quickly and effectively as possible.
Fire service area manager Warren Pickstone said the fire had caused "devastating" damage, adding that the roof and the first floor has been destroyed in the fire.
Manchester fire
He added: "The fire was well developed when they arrived and firefighters did a fantastic job to stop it spreading through the timbers and voids in the property."
Inspector Luke Breakspear, from Greater Manchester Police, said an investigation has been launched and he appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He added: "The investigation into how this fire began is in its infancy, however we are now treating it as suspicious.
"This is a devastating fire in a beautiful building and we are determined to get to the bottom of how this could have happened.
"Luckily, no one was injured, but the damage to the building and its contents will have a lasting impact on the community, and those who dedicated their lives to Wythenshawe Hall."
Wythenshawe Hall, set in 250 acres now known as Wythenshawe Park, was home to the Tatton family for almost 400 years.
It was built around 1540 and was unsuccessfully defended by Robert Tatton against Oliver Cromwell's forces in 1643, during the English Civil War.
It was donated to the community in 1930 and served as a museum and art gallery until it was closed in 2010 by Manchester City Council.
It reopened to visitors in 2012 with help from the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall volunteer group.