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Blaze destroys disused Saltney Ferry church

ARSONISTS are believed to have started a blaze which destroyed an historic church.

The vicar says the at St Matthew’s Church was something he had been “dreading”.

The disused church on Flint Road, at Saltney Ferry, was totally gutted by the huge blaze on Thursday night.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service are treating the devastating blaze as arson.

Six fire appliances, an Ariel Ladder Platform, the Environmental Protection Unit and the Emergency Tender from Wrexham attended the incident on Flint Road after receiving reports of a fire at the premises at 6.19pm.

Approximately 20 properties on Flint Road lost their electrical supply as a result of the fire but there was no need to evacuate properties.

Crews from Deeside, Buckley, Flint and Mold, as well as from nearby Chester, tackled the fire using four main hose reel jets and a ground monitor.

The fire, which is thought to have been started deliberately, was extinguished by 10.28pm.

St Matthew’s, which closed in June 2000, is owned by the Parish of St. Mark’s Saltney.

The Vicar, the Rev Trevor Green, said the church was not insured.

He added: “The Sunday school - which was alongside the church - burnt down about five years ago.

“Children broke in and set fire to it. At the moment we don’t know about this.

“The gas and electricity were switched off about seven years ago. Anything of any value had long been taken out.

“It’s loss is horrendous but something I have been dreading happening after losing the hall (Sunday school) to arson. One day they were going to get in.”

The church has been for sale for years.

It was put on the market for £100,000 initially as a substantial Ruabon redbrick building and adjoining hall.

Russ Vaughan from North Wales Fire & Rescue Service said: “It is vitally important that people take responsibility for their unoccupied properties, and ensure that they are safely and securely boarded up completely to prevent anyone from entering the building.

“While the Fire and Rescue Service are attending incidents like this, life saving resources are tied up, putting the lives of other people at risk. The perpetrators are destroying their own communities.

“I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about this or a similar incident to contact their local police station or crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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