FIREFIGHTERS were called to tackle three blazes at a recreation ground in Hartlepool that has become a repeated target for arsonists.

Three crews were called to the Grayfields Recreation Ground at about 5.30am on Wednesday, when fires were started in three spots at the cricket pavilion and grandstand.

Firemen wearing breathing apparatus had to build a bridge with ladders across fire-damaged timber joists to reach the flames on the first floor of the building.

The fires had been started in a skip, on the timber floor of the grandstand and under the first floor main entrance of the building.

Due to problems in the past with the site, the doors are all steel security doors and firefighters had to break them down to get into the building.

The first floor of the pavilion suffered severe fire damage as the flames reached the building's loft, damaging a pipe which caused water damage to the ground floor.

Police were yesterday investigating the arson attack and it is thought the pavilion may be out of use for some time.