This week 30 years ago: Police hunt Sobell Leisure Centre arsonist
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 September 2016
Detectives were hunting an arsonist who could have razed a “showpiece” leisure centre to the ground.
The blaze, in the early hours, was confined to a balcony near the ice rink in the Michael Sobell Centre in Hornsey Road.
Only prompt action from fire crews stopped the fire spreading – though it still caused £1,000 of damage to floor and ceiling tiles and windows. A pile of phone directories was also set ablaze.
The arsonist’s motive was unknown. Robert Saffrey, recreation manager at the leisure centre, said he did not know anyone with a grudge against it.
However, the centre was able to reopen the next day, with the damaged area screened off.
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