POLICE are investigating after a fire ripped through the premises of a former shop in Northwich, causing part of the roof to collapse.

Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze at the disused two-storey property after being called to the scene at the junction of Chester Road and Beach Road, in Hartford, at about 11pm on Tuesday (June 28).

Crews, from Northwich, Winsford and Lymm, set about extinguishing the fire while police closed Beach Road due to concerns about falling debris.

Relief teams from Knutsford and Birchwood were also sent to the scene in the early hours of the morning, before the road eventually reopened.

The cause of the blaze is though to be deliberate and Cheshire Police are now appealing for witnesses.

Northwich Guardian: Some of the damage caused to the buildingSome of the damage caused to the building

A police spokesman said: "At 11.30pm on Tuesday, June 28, police were contacted by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in relation to a fire at a disused building at the junction of Beach Road and Chester Road in Northwich.

“Officers attended the scene and assisted with traffic control while firefighters dealt with the fire.

“The cause of the fire is believed to be deliberate, and an investigation has been launched.

“Officers remain in attendance at the scene and enquiries are ongoing.”

Northwich Guardian: Firefighters remain in Beach RoadFirefighters remain in Beach Road

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "A fire in a disused two-storey house in Northwich was attended by firefighters.

"They used four hose reels to put the fire out and established a water feed.

"The fire was fully developed, and the aerial ladder attended to get water to the building from above and was used to help firefighters remove boards from the roof to allow access to fully extinguish the fire.

"The building was checked with a thermal imaging camera and a fire investigation to establish the cause took place."

Northwich Guardian: The fire-damaged buildingThe fire-damaged building

Cheshire West and Chester Council's building control team has been informed of the incident.

Anyone with any information or video footage in relation to the incident is asked to contact Cheshire Police at www.cheshire.police.uk/tell-us, or call 101 quoting IML 1304564.