Probe into cause of devastating Wythenshawe Hall fire underway

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Pic: Courtesy of  @manchesterfire

Firefighters are damping down after a blaze which destroyed the roof and badly damaged the first floor of historic Wythenshawe Hall.

Residents, councillors, local fund raisers and the Wythenshawe’s MP have said they are devastated by the fire which was tackled by 50 firefighters and 10 fire engines.

 

 

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Work has now begun to investigate the cause of the fire and to count the cost of the damage caused to the historic building which was preparing for a season of open days and fund raising events.

Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane, said it is too early to determine where the cash will come from to repair the damage but has promised to press Manchester City Council, who own the building and the government’s culture minister for support.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Rosa Battle, said: “This is an upsetting incident involving a much-loved historic building at the heart of its community. We are currently still taking stock of the damage but will all need to rally together in an effort to restore the Hall.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the fire fighters who have battled through the night to limit the damage and thank Wythenshawe people and Mancunians in general for the messages of support we’ve already had.”
Wythenshawe Hall is a 16th-century medieval timber-framed historic house and former stately home set in  Wythenshawe Park. The building is a half-timbered Tudor house and well known as the home of the Tatton family for almost 400 years. It was built in about 1540. It was donated to local people in 1930 and has been a museum and art gallery in recent years.

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) was called to the hall and art gallery just after 3.30am on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 when the fire broke out in the roof.

The incident commander immediately called for six fire engines to attend the scene as well as a high-reach aerial appliance – similar to a cherry picker – to allow firefighters to get water into the roof space as quickly and effectively as possible.

The response was then further escalated to 10 fire engines and over 50 firefighters as the team attempted to bring the blaze under control.

Area Manager Warren Pickstone commented: “We’re currently damping down and investigating the cause of this fire with Greater Manchester Police.

“This blaze has caused devastating damage to a historic building, but the quick actions of our crew have saved the majority of the structure.

“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.

“We will work closely with Manchester City Council and The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall to help them recover from this terrible fire.”

 

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