Blaze at former Doncaster social educational centre

Thorne Social Education Centre which ahas suffered fire damage at the hands of arsonists

Thorne Social Education Centre which ahas suffered fire damage at the hands of arsonists

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An investigation is under way after a fire caused serious damage to a former Doncaster social education building.

Thorne Social Education Centre, Coulman Road, Thorne, was found engulfed in flames at 4am on Tuesday morning.

Firefighters spent three hours at the scene.

A fire service spokesman said an investigation into the cause of the fire in the building has now started.

The building is owned by Doncaster Council, but it is understood the authority is looking at selling it in the future.

A Doncaster Council spokesperson said: “From what we can tell the main damage is to the first floor but as we have not been able to enter the building it will take a few days to determine the full extent of the damage.

“Our immediate action has been to make sure the building is safe and secure.”

It was closed as a social education centre several years ago.

Thorne-Moorends Councillor Martin Williams said he was concerned about the number of former public buildings in Thorne which had been closed in recent years.

In addition to the social education centre, Haynes House and Glebe House are no longer used in the town.

He said: “The social education centre is quite a modern building.

“It was a thriving hub in Thorne and a real lifeline to a lot of people up until a few years ago.

“To hear that it has now had a fire like this is heartbreaking.

“I don’t know how badly it has been burned, but it is concerning because it was such a marvellous community building up until just a few years ago.

“My fear is that all it is now is a facility for vandals.”

It is not yet known whether the fire was started deliberately.

Thorne Social Education Centre was one of three social education centres which were at the centre of a battle to keep them open two years ago. It provided adult day care facilities in the town.