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'An accident waiting to happen' - Firefighters issue grave warning after youths start fire in abandoned Sheffield swimming baths

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores
Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores
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Firefighters have issued a grave warning to yobs who keep breaking in and starting fires at a disused Sheffield swimming baths.

Fire crews from Elm Lane station on Sheffield Lane Top were called out to the derelict Chapeltown Baths on Burncross Road at 8pm on Friday.

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

But firefighters have said they're attending the abandoned baths 'a couple of times a month' to deal with youths breaking in and setting debris inside the building alight.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokesman from Elm Lane station said the situation is 'getting silly' and fears one day someone 'will get seriously hurt'.

"It's an accident waiting to happen, it's a nightmare in there," he said.

"Because there's so many corridors and different rooms, we often don't know where the actual fire is most of the time when we arrive. It fills up with smoke really quickly.

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

"We get a called out a couple of times a month. Kids keep getting in and it's really unsafe. If someone gets trapped in there, I'm fearful we'd struggle to get them out in time.

"We dread it when we get a call out to the place. It's getting silly and it's got to the point now where someone will get seriously hurt."

The baths were a centre point for the Chapeltown community for more than 55 years but the site closed in February 2016.

Sheffield Council had considered redeveloping the Chapeltown site for a new pool but decided it was too small and would not offer enough value for money.

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

Chapeltown Baths has fallen into a state of disrepair since its closure and firefighters have issued a warning to youths breaking in and starting fires. Picture: Azzy Explores

East Ecclesfield Councillor Andy Bainbridge said: "I equally share the concerns of the fire service.

"I was young once and I know what it's like but people are really putting themselves in danger by doing this and they should listen to the warning, it's really serious."

Ecclesfield Parish Council received an application from Resilienti who submitted plans to knock down the building in Burncross Road and build a mix of apartments and shops in November 2016.

But the application was withdrawn in April 2017 after Sheffield Council planning chiefs highlighted several concerns about the proposal.

A £7 million leisure centre combined with gym and 25-metre swimming pool opened in nearby High Green in June 2016.

It's understood the site has been purchased on the condition residential properties are built in its place.