"I believe it's deliberate so police have been requested."
British boxing star Amir Khan’s £5 million building was set on fire on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Police and firefighters suggest that it was a case of arson.
Firefighters were called to the site after they received reports of smoke coming from the venue.
The 32-year-old boxer began work in 2015 on the building in Washington Street, Deane, Bolton, however, it remained incomplete.
It was initially meant to be an 800-seat wedding venue but Khan later scrapped the plans. He said that he would decide on its purpose once he returned from America.
Firefighters arrived at the scene and “there was quite a lot of black smoke” coming from the building. Watch manager Chris Wilcox stated that this was due to the plastic cladding being set alight.
The plastic cladding was later extinguished, along with damaged sections of glass wall and flooring on the top level of the venue.
Police officers were called to the site as firefighters believe that it may be a case of arson.
Mr Wilcox said: “There was a fire on the top level of a quantity of building material. I believe it’s deliberate so police have been requested.
“We managed to get access and get to it in time so it’s not taken hold of the building.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said that their crews were called to the scene at 6:26 pm after they received reports of smoke coming from the building.
The fire crew were able to reach the top floor without the assistance of a platform and managed to put the fire out using hose reels.
Mr Wilcox estimated that a 15-metre section of glass had been damaged. A 10-metre square section of flooring was also damaged by the fire.
Firefighters got the fire under control quickly and handed the incident over for police to investigate an hour later.
Police have launched an arson probe into who set Khan’s building on fire.
Greater Manchester Police said: “Police were called by the fire service shortly after 7 pm on Sunday to a report of a fire at a premises in Deane, Bolton.
“An arson investigation has been launched and enquires are ongoing.
“Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 1764 of 10/03/19.”
Khan’s £5 million building did not have a purpose once the plans for it to be a wedding venue did not come to fruition.
He posted a video saying that he will make a decision once he comes back from the USA. He is currently training for a world title fight against American Terence Crawford.
The people of Bolton also gave their suggestions on what the building should be used for.