Community hub hit by arson attack

City of Wolverhampton Council has condemned arsonists who are believed to have caused a blaze at a community hub.

The fire service attended the incident at Bob Jones Community Hub in the early hours of Sunday, May 2 and managed to control the spread of the fire.

Essential gas meters and distribution pipework were destroyed with the gas supply currently disconnected meaning no heating or water at the Bromley Street venue.

The air conditioning condensing units and associated pipework, insulation and its electric cables have also been damaged and will need to be replaced.

Electrical services local to the area were also destroyed, meaning a new fuse board, wiring systems, lighting and power outlets are needed.

The fire comes as the hub is undergoing essential renovation works prior to reopening fully in a Covid-secure manner – and the contractor’s compound for storage of equipment was also damaged together with roofing materials.

City of Wolverhampton Council leader Ian Brookfield said: “This was a mindless and dangerous act which could have put lives at risk, and we are working closely with police and the fire service as they investigate the circumstances behind it.

“The Bob Jones Hub is an important community facility that many people from across the city rely on. This fire could have deprived the community of its use for the long term and, unfortunately, it has delayed the full reopening of the building to its community groups and hundreds of gym users.

“The building and site have been made secure and discussions with the current contractor are underway about replacing the damaged equipment.”

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