Arson attack at seed merchants

A SUSPECTED arson attack which caused damage running into thousands of pounds at a Suffolk gardening company is today being investigated experts.The blaze occurred at Thompson & Morgan, one of the country's best-known seed and plant merchants.

A SUSPECTED arson attack which caused damage running into thousands of pounds at a Suffolk gardening company is today being investigated experts.

The blaze occurred at Thompson & Morgan, one of the country's best-known seed and plant merchants.

The fire ravaged a barn and its contents – including a tractor usually used in the summer months.

Firefighters were called to the scene of the blaze in Poplar Lane, Ipswich around 11.45pm yesterday. The fire crews say at the site to dampen the building down, before leaving around 2.20am today.


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But around 8.30am they returned because some beams were still smouldering.

Assistant Divisional Officer Ian Bowell said: "When the crew arrived they found a developed fire in an agricultural building. It was well alight and there had been a partial roof collapse.

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"At the height of the fire we had three jets in use. We managed to stop it spreading to the other barns.

"Because there has been a substantial financial loss, we will investigate as a matter of course until a suspicious cause can be ruled out."

John May, a director of Thompson & Morgan, was made aware of the fire today.

He said: "In the early hours the fire brigade were called to a barn in the extremities of our premises which was on fire.

"It substantially destroyed the barn which had a tractor and some ancillary equipment stored inside. Because of the time of year it won't be prejudicial to business.

"We are fortunate. There were no casualties and the situation is under control. We are annoyed and this has caused a disturbance this morning."

A fire investigation officer and scenes of crime officers will now be investigating the blaze

N Can you help with the investigation into the cause of the blaze? If so telephone Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or alternatively contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324789.

Thompson & Morgan factfile

N Thompson & Morgan was founded in 1855

N The company was founded by William Thompson, the son of a baker.

N Mr Thompson began studying botany and cultivating a garden at the back of a baker shop in Tavern Street, Ipswich.

N In 1855 his first catalogue was produced.

N In 1896, William Thompson was awarded the Victorian Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society.

N He later joined forces with businessman John Morgan.

N Thompson & Morgan is today one of the country's best known seed and plant sellers.

N Thompson & Morgan employs around 150 people in its Poplar Lane, Ipswich site.

N It has sales in the region of 35 million a year.

N It sells via mail order, in garden sites and also has also has a branch in Guernsey and in the USA.

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