Crookesmoor Road blaze Sheffield: Fire breaks out in landmark former Crookesmoor school building
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Four fire engines were sent to the former Crookesmoor School on Crookesmoor Road, in Sheffield last night after reports of the blaze.
Firefighters from Central, Elm Lane and Rivelin fire stations are understood to have gone into the building with breathing apparatus to put the fire out after floorboards had caught light, with locals concerned it may have been deliberate.
The damage was not obvious from the outside of the building this morning, but a strong smell of smoke remained around the building, which dates back to Victorian times.
Local residents have previously expressed concerns about youths breaking into the grade two listed building and are concerned for its future.
The school was built in 1874 but closed in 1994. It was later used as a training centre and offices.
Last year it was reported that it had been put up for sale by Sheffield Council, and could potentially be used for flats.
Coun Bernard Little raised concerns
Bernard Little, who represents the area on Sheffield Council, said people were concerned for the future of the building.
He said: “I’ve spotted a couple times people getting into the building, smashing the lights and the windows, and trying to make a nuisance of themselves locally.
"I’ve contacted the police twice, and the council have come round and secured the building. I understood last night, about 11.30pm, the building was entered and set alight.
"It’s such a beautiful building, an absolutely wonderful resource in the community, and I’d really like to see it converted into decent homes for people which are desperately needed locally. The architecture is absolutely beautiful.”
Sheffield Council put the old school building and caretaker’s house up for sale last summer, with the listing describing the property as suitable in principle for conversion to housing.
“The area has an active lettings market particularly for students and is suitable (in principle) for residential conversion to apartments or other residential use (subject to Planning and Listed Building consent),” stated the sales brochure.
According to Historic England, the building is one of a number designed by Innocent and Brown for the Sheffield School Board, and was one of the earliest built in England after the 1870 Education Act.