A HISTORIC building has been targeted in an arson attack for the second time in six days.
Fire crews were called back to the former Lluesty Hospital in Holywell on Tuesday night after vandals, who had broken into the hospital, set fire to a pile of rubbish on the ground floor.
The attack comes after firefighters spent three hours fighting a blaze at the Old Chester Road site in the early hours of Thursday.
During that fire one room and a corridor were completely destroyed while the entire building suffered smoke damage with the likely cause given as arson.
Fears have now been raised there may be a serial arsonist in the area.
Holywell councillor Gareth Roberts said: “After the first incident there was cause for concern. Now there is far, far greater concern.
“This is worrying. In the past few weeks security has been increased at the site and extra fencing has been put up.
“Whoever has done this has made a real effort to get in. The question now is, is there is a serial arsonist about?
“Many people living nearby might be worried where they could strike next.”
The hospital, which started life in the 1830s as a Victorian workhouse, closed in 2008 when the new Holywell Community Hospital on Halkyn Road opened.
Since then it has stood derelict and has become a target for vandals and anti-social behaviour.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s arson reduction manager Kevin Jones said: “Reckless acts tie up life saving resources, put the lives of other people, including firefighters at risk.
“I am urging owners of such buildings to take seriously the threat of arson in their Premises' Fire Risk Assessments.”
The hospital and its seven-acre grounds were sold at auction for £275,000 in February. It is believed to have been bought by a London-based developer.
The site is allocated for a development of 70 houses in Flintshire Council’s Unitary Development Plan (UDP).
A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to a fire at the Lluesty Hospital just after 9pm on Tuesday.
“A rubbish fire had been started on the ground floor. The cause was deliberate ignition.
“Crews from Flint and Holywell attended.”