A SECURITY video could provide vital clues to a major blaze at an historic Birkenhead landmark.

The £6 million refurbishment of the Antiques Triangle, one of the town's most prominent listed buildings, is on hold while investigators try to establish the cause of the fire.

The sandstone building, on Cross Street, was gutted by the blaze on March 1.

The alarm was raised by Phil Smith, who works in the nearby Land Registry, after his five-year-old daughter, Anna, had told him about the fire.

Said Mr Smith: "My wife came to pick me up from work and Anna said to me: 'I can see orange bits in that window'. I thought she was joking until I saw the smoke billowing out. The fire-brigade were there within minutes."

Officers looking into the cause of the fire originally suspected an electrical fault but, on further investigation, decided that it had been started deliberately.

Pierhead Housing Association, which is refurbishing the building, has revealed they believe the building has been filmed by a Wirral Borough Council video mounted on nearby offices.

Graham Coslett, chief executive of the Association, said: "The fire brigade is still trying to establish the cause of the blaze. The building has been subject to attacks by vandals recently but we have established that a security camera is trained on the Antiques Triangle and may hold some clues.

"The fire will mean a delay to our refurbishment programme but until we have taken professional advice we cannot assess how much of a setback it is. We are, however, determined to press ahead as soon as it is safe."

The sturdy structure of the building, which was built in 1847, may have prevented further damage. Plans involve converting the building into 54 one- and two-bedroom flats with shops and workshops on the ground floor.

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