A major fire has broken out at the Grade II listed Daresbury Hall in Cheshire.
Firefighters were tackling a major blaze in a historic abandoned mansion near Runcorn.
Eight crews were battling vicious flames inside the derelict Daresbury Hall – a stunning 18th century Grade II listed building set in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.
Emergency services are expected to remain at the building all weekend as efforts continue to extinguish the fire in the dilapidated property.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the huge site, off Daresbury Lane, at 4.46pm.
Crews from Warrington, Birchwood, Frodsham, Stockton Heath and Ellesmere Port were dispatched to the major blaze, which ripped through the building and sent flames spitting out of the windows.
A force spokesperson said: “Firefighters were called to a report of a fire in an empty building off Daresbury Lane, Runcorn.
“When they arrived crews found that a blaze had taken hold of a large empty building. A total of eight fire engines were called to the scene to help tackle the fire.
“Crews used main water jets and hose reels on the flames. The structure of the building was unsafe so all firefighting is being conducted from the outside.
“It is likely that crews will remain at the incident all weekend.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known but an investigation has been launched.
The magnificent Georgian hall started its life as a stately home before becoming a military hospital during World War Two and then a centre for disability charity Scope.
But the building has fallen into disrepair after the death of a millionaire owner who bought the building to return it to its original use.
In recent years the abandoned property has been beset by problems – and even become a hub of crime.
Just last year police busted a massive £750,000 cannabis farm at the property, which has also been a target of arsonists.
Earlier this year plans were revealed for the part-demolition, restoration and conversion of the former stately home and the construction of nine extra houses.
Original source: Liverpool Echo