STUNNED residents have described the chaos that erupted after an arson attack at a former care home in Bulwell — and have called for the derelict building to be pulled down.
On Tuesday afternoon (March 15), a huge fire ripped through the former Riverside Residential Centre on Coventry Road at around 1.55pm and a number of roads in the area were closed while firecrews tackled the blaze.
Dozens of firefighters from four stations flocked to the scene along with the environmental protection unit. Roads were finally re-opened at 8.15pm.
Because of the smoke, householders in the Sellers Wood Drive and Coventry Road area were warned to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed.
Resident Miriam Vickers was at home when the blaze broke out. She said: “I came out at about 2pm to get the tram to go to town and the road was blocked off — you could not see because of the smoke.
“So I walked to the other tram stop at Cinderhill and then I saw three fire engines coming up. The traffic was being turned back and the fire engines were trying to get through.”
The Riverside Residential Centre closed around six months ago and the attack has sparked concern from householders who say the building should be demolished.
A pensioner, who asked not to be named, said: “They stopped all the traffic and we had to get off the bus at the church and walk through the flats to get home. Once I got in the house I never moved again.
“We have been expecting something like this to happen to it. I would have had it knocked it down when it first became empty.”
Another resident, who also asked to remain anonymous, said: “We thought this would happen if they left it empty like that. They should demolish it or keep an eye on it. We have all been worried about what is going to happen there.”
Now police are hunting those responsible for the arson attack and want to hear from anyone with information. Contact PC Andrew Sharratt at Bulwell Police Station on 0300 3009999 ext 855 4969 or call the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.