Huge Leonardo building fire near Millennium Square in Leeds treated as arson

  • Aerial footage shows the fire and the damage it caused to the Leonardo building

A huge fire which prompted the evacuation of pubs and restaurants in Leeds city centre is being treated as arson.

Emergency services were called to Cookridge Street shortly before 7.30pm on Saturday after the top three floors of the Leonardo building were engulfed in flames. The building is undergoing renovation.

In a statement on Monday, West Yorkshire Police said: "The incident is being investigated as arson and enquiries are ongoing, led by detectives."

The grade II listed building, which stands close to Leeds City Museum and the Revolution bar near Millennium Square, has previously been used as a school, a printworks, a teaching college, and council offices.

The building was badly damaged in the incident.

Last year, the city council granted permission of a £62million redevelopment to turn it into student accommodation.

Ten pumps and the Hazardous Area Response Team were called to the scene on Saturday night.

Ryan Graves, assistant general manager of the nearby Pixel Bar told ITV News: "From our front door, first you could see smoke billowing, then it was flames and ash.

"We liaised with the police to make sure everyone got out safely. We don't know when we can go back inside."

Witnesses or anyone with information should contact Leeds District CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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