THE fire that ravaged former pub The Green Dragon is being treated as 'suspected arson' by Merseyside Police.

The fire took hold at the former Green Dragon on Gartons Lane in Sutton Manor in the early hours of April 15.

Firefighters arrived at 5.20am to find the large building well alight.

Four engines and a combined platform ladder were sent to the scene to tackle the flames.

In all, crews were at the scene for nearly 11 hours.

Police today confirmed to the Star that the case is being treated 'suspected arson'.

Commenting on the blaze, Bold Cllr Lisa Preston, said: "I would like to thank firefighters who have been involved in the resolution of this incident over an extended period of time.

St Helens Star:

"As a member of the Fire Authority I know how hard the service works to prevent these types of incidents occurring.

"I have asked the police and partners to increase patrols in the vicinity whilst the future of the building is being considered and I would urge parents to advise their children to stay clear of what is a very unsafe building.

"Members of the public should report anti social activity to the police during this period."

Building surveyors from St Helens Council visited the scene several times on Monday and were carrying out further assessments on Tuesday to check its safety