COMMITTEE members at a historic cricket club are counting the cost after fire ripped through the building.
The pavilion at Seaham Park Cricket Club, in Byron Terrace, was ravaged by fire on Saturday morning.
Fire investigators have confirmed that the blaze at the East Durham clubhouse, parts of which are 80 years old, was started deliberately.
It is thought that rubbish was stacked up against the boiler room door and set alight.
Police are looking into the incident, which has shocked Seaham Park players and officials.
“The damage is extensive,” said committee member David Thynne.
“It’s ruined the lounge and cellar and the bar, which we need as it’s our only source of income.”
He added: “I hope they catch whoever did it.
“This is a set-back and I don’t know what we will do for the new season, but we’re not going to give up.”
The fire happened at about 5am on Saturday.
It took 15 firefighters five hours to deal with.
A crew was called back at 2pm yesterday after a small break-out of flames.
Seaham Fire Service Crew Manager, Ben Wilson, said: “Extensive damage was caused to the property leaving it structurally unsound. The rear of the building was severely damaged.”
He added: “Police have retrieved camera footage from the premises and they will take evidence from there.”
Parts of the cricket pavilion are 80-years-old and it’s thought it was being redecorated for the new season.”