UPDATE: Grand Central fire in Skegness ‘arson’ say police

Fire crews at the scene of the Grand Central Fire in Skegness
Fire crews at the scene of the Grand Central Fire in Skegness

Police have confirmed the fire on the site of the demolition of an entertainment centre in Skegness was ‘arson’.

Investigations are continuing following the blaze that started at Grand Central on the seafront around 4.29am on Friday.

The fire broke out on what was left of the ground floor and four crews were called to the scene. Traffic was diverted from Grand Parade and residents living in the area have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed due to low lying smoke.

The road was re-opened later in the afternoon and most of the crews left the scene by teatime, handing leaving ‘incidents in hands of owners’.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said damping down of the building was ‘likely to continue for the next couple of days’ and the main concern was ‘keeping people away from the building as it is unsafe’.

There was still a crew on site on Saturday and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue say that although they have now left the scene they are still monitoring the site.

Fire crews at the scene of the Grand Central Fire in Skegness

Fire crews at the scene of the Grand Central Fire in Skegness

Demolition of the building was due to have been completed last week to clear the way for a new £2m leisure centre.

This week is the 10th anniversary of a major fire that destroyed The Parade complex, which was on the site of Lucky Strike.

However, in spite of the setback the company’s focus remains on the new major development. The Grand Central shut its doors after the New Year celebrations last year.

Empire Skegness Ltd (Bell Leisure) submitted plans to East Lindsey District Council last August to demolish the building and replace it with a new leisure centre, Owner Brian Bell, who also owns the Plaza Entertainment Centre next door, plans to extend the Plaza providing a link through to the proposed centre and new frontage. The new centre will include 10-pin bowling lanes with bar and coastal views. A spokesman for Bell Leisure said they did not think the fire would cause any major delays in the development as “it was nearly demolished anyway”.

Grand Central in Skegness on  fire this morning. Photo: Louee Bontoft ANL-170127-083333001

Grand Central in Skegness on fire this morning. Photo: Louee Bontoft ANL-170127-083333001

The Grand Cenral as it looked yesterday after most of the building had been demolished, Photo: Charlotte Parker ANL-170127-083659001

The Grand Cenral as it looked yesterday after most of the building had been demolished, Photo: Charlotte Parker ANL-170127-083659001

Work has begun on the demolition of the Grand Central in Skegness. ANL-170116-145408001

Work has begun on the demolition of the Grand Central in Skegness. ANL-170116-145408001