Arson investigation launched after 'very serious' fire at Leeds student accommodation block

Dozens of students were evacuated from a student accommodation block in Leeds this morning (Saturday) after a fire which police believe was started deliberately.

Saturday, 29th August 2020, 12:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th August 2020, 3:08 pm

Police, fire and ambulance services were called to the Austin Hall student accommodation block on Servia Road, near Woodhouse, just after 9am, to a report of a fire.

Read More

Read More
Leeds pub closes for deep clean after customer test positive for coronavirus

Firefighters dealt with the fire, which had broken out on the fifth floor of the block.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Austin Hall and Aquith House student accommodation (photo: Google).

They also evacuated some residents using breathing masks.

The accommodation was not at full capacity due to it being the summer holidays.

Residents were checked by ambulance staff for smoke inhalation but no-one needed hospital treatment.

Police said it was "very fortunate" that no one was injured.

Road closures were put in place on Servia Road and Woodhouse Lane while the incident was dealt with.

Initial investigations have led police to believe the fire was set deliberately and officers have recorded a crime of arson.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries today into this clearly very serious fire which we do believe was started deliberately.

“It is very fortunate no-one was injured and that the building was not fully occupied at the time of the fire.

“Officers are working closely with our partners in the fire service to investigate what took place, and we have been informed that residents will need to be housed elsewhere while the building is assessed.

“We do know the fire began on the 5th floor of Austin Hall and I would ask anyone who saw persons behaving suspiciously on that 5th floor corridor between 8.50am and 9am to contact Leeds CID.

“I would also very much like to speak with anyone who saw anyone behaving suspiciously outside the building or leaving it in a hurry just after the fire started to contact us.”

Information can be given to Leeds CID on 101 referencing crime number 13200434799, online at www.westyorkshirepolice.co.uk/101livechat , or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident on Saturday afternoon in Leeds and is in police custody.

*************************

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you

Laura Collins