A fire which ripped through an empty health service building near Bedford hospital is being treated as a suspected arson attack.

Emergency services were called to the North Wing of Bedford hospital on Thursday evening following reports of a fire at a derelict building on the site.

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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service units remained at the scene all day and are continuing to work to make the area safe.

The fire did not spread to neighbouring hospital buildings and it is not thought that anyone was injured.

The fire in the empty building in the North Wing of Bedford hospital was started around 7.15pm on Thursday. Credit: JasonBeeby.com

"We take all reports of arson very seriously, particularly as the fire was so close to operational hospital buildings, and we are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this incident. At the moment we are treating this as deliberate.

Superintendent Jim Lunn, Bedfordshire Police

Members of the emergency services are likely to remain at the scene on Frdiay while enquiries continue.

Police officers are undertaking patrols throughout the day to reassure local residents.

Initial enquiries by police and fire officers have indicated that the fire may have been started intentionally. Credit: JasonBeeby.com