Police are treating a fire in a derelict Falmouth building as arson.

The building, 8-10 Webber Street, has been empty and in danger of a sudden collapse since at least 2016.

On Wednesday (May 1), two Falmouth fire engines attended the property to extinguish a fire at the rear of the building just after 9pm.

Two firefighters entered the property and extinguished the fire using a hosereel jet and breathing apparatus.

Police are now investigating the suspected arson.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: "We can confirm that the fire is being treated as arson at this time.

"Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area at the time of the offence [8.45pm-9pm] is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or phone 101, quoting crime reference CR/038946/19."

When the Packet reported on the dangerous state of the building in February, a spokesperson from the government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stated that the demolition work (originally meant to take place in December 2017) would be carried out within the weeks following.

The work was halted by the HSE due to "health and safety reasons," reportedly related to asbestos in the building.

As of yet, no additional demolition appears to have been carried out.

The building was left structurally unsound after tenants attempted to remove a wall, which resulted in a partial collapse in 2015.

An assessment by CSA Architects in 2016 found that "Structural spine walls are unstable and buildings, which are located immediately adjacent to towncenter [sic] footpath and public highway are in danger of sudden and uncontrolled collapse. Demolition is required ASAP to safeguard the public."

The statement went on to outline the different possible methods of demolishing the building and the difficulty involved with each of them.