Hemsworth fire which left thousands without landlines 'believed to have been started deliberately'

A fire at a BT exchange in Hemsworth is believed to have been started deliberately, police have confirmed.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 9:23 am
A fire at a BT exchange in Hemsworth is believed to have been started deliberately, police have confirmed.

A fire tore through the telecommunications exchange on Sunday evening, leaving thousands of local homes and businesses without landlines and broadband.

The fire has been described as an "absolute nightmare" for Hemsworth and the surrounding area, with one local figure saying that the lack of landlines left vulnerable residents without access to support.

Though most services have now been restored, the building on Westfield Road remains significantly damaged.

Investigating the cause of the blaze, West Yorkshire Police have now confirmed that they believe the fire was started deliberately at around 11pm.

Officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time to get in touch.

Information can be given via 101 or the West Yorkshire Police livechat facility, quoting crime reference number 13210141953.

Information can also be reported anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.