Woman dies in fire at gay sauna

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

West Yorkshire police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a woman died in a ‘suspicious’ fire in Leeds.

The Spartan Mantalk Sauna, which formed part of an end-terrace house in the Harehills area of the city, was gutted in the blaze.

A woman was rescued by fire crews at around 4am this morning, but she did not survive.

Police refused to comment on the ongoing enquiry, but did ask for anyone with information to contact them.

Local residents were puzzled that the woman, who worked in the gay venue, was still inside so late at night. Advertisements for the sauna in the gay press indicate it opens 24 hours a day.

An online review described the sauna: “This was a real gay rip off. Tiny, dirty, sleazy and run by staff who felt really dodgy.

“It felt frightening when I was inside and frightening to go out (in a very run down residential part of the City). Avoid at all costs.”

Police told PinkNews.co.uk that the fire is being treated as suspicious, but would not comment on whether a murder investigation would be launched.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that the sauna had been attacked several times, including an armed robbery.

Recently wood had been placed at the front door in an attempt to set fire to the building.

Anyone with information should contact West Yorkshire police on 0113 241 3259.