POLICE are searching for an arsonist who torched an East Staffordshire golf club – causing a blaze that raged for several hours.
More than 45 firefighters were called in to tackle the fire at a building in the grounds of the disused Craythorne Golf Club, in Craythorne Road, Rolleston, in the early hours of yesterday .
The flames could be seen for miles across Rolleston and Stretton and fire crews from Burton, one from Tutbury, Barton under Needwood, Uttoxeter and Lichfield were all needed to quell the blaze.
An investigation by specialist teams from Staffordshire and Fire Rescue Service and Staffordshire Police quickly established that the blaze was 'deliberate' a probe was launched in a bid to find out who was responsible.
Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, commander of East Staffordshire Local Policing Team (LPT), spoke to the Mail in the aftermath of the blaze.
He said: "Detectives are now continuing to conduct an investigation into this fire and we want to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Thursday night or Friday morning.
"Anyone with information that may help our investigation is asked to contact us on 101, quoting incident number six of July 18, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
"Following a joint investigation with colleagues from the fire service, it is now believed the fire was started deliberately."
Fire crews arrived at the site at around 12.15am to find the roof well alight.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spoke to the Mail about what crews encountered at the scene.
He said: "Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze.
"The crews remained at the site damping down throughout the whole of yesterday.
"An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way."
The building has been severely damaged by the fire, which resulted in Craythorne Road having to be closed off for the majority of the night.
Fire chiefs confirmed to the Mail that no-one was injured.
The blaze was so ferocious that crews had to pump in extra water from nearby brooks and canals to keep on top of the situation.
Fire chiefs said the reasoning behind this was that water pressure in the area is 'very low'.
As the Mail went to press firefighters remained at the scene, continuing to damp down and ensure no other fires broke out.