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Seafood beach hut blaze was arson, confirms police

PUBLISHED: 17:09 30 September 2019

The fire, which was attended by firefighters and police officers, destroyed the beach hut that had been renovated into a popular local business Picture: ALAN BOYLE

The fire, which was attended by firefighters and police officers, destroyed the beach hut that had been renovated into a popular local business Picture: ALAN BOYLE

ALAN BOYLE

Officers investigating a serious fire which burnt down a beach-side business in Felixstowe say that they are treating the blaze as arson.

Fire crews were called to the Old Fishing Hut on Undercliff Road West, close to the pier, in the town at around 2am on September 4.

On arrival, crews found the hut engulfed by flames.

The hut in Felixstowe had only been open five months when it was hit by the devastating blaze having been renovated and opened at Easter.

The business had been selling fresh shellfish and seafood from the sea front and had also taken part in the popular Art on the Prom festival.

The hut's equipment has been badly fire damaged with much of the building's structure also undermined by the fire.

In a statement on their Facebook page the business paid tribute to the support they had received locally.

"We have now had the full report from the police and fire services and sadly it was proven to be an arson attack," said the Old Fishing Hut.

"I would like to thank you all for your lovely messages of support and very kind offers of help.

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"It has been a wonderful first summer down on our sea front, meeting all that work along side me , working hard to bring tourism in to Felixstowe.

"The local support has been overwhelming."

Work is set to begin soon to clean up the damaged hut, but the future of the business remains uncertain.

"The council has been very helpful with co-ordinating the clear up operation,which will take place later this week," said the business online.

"I understand it has been unsightly for the people who complained but we all had to be patient until all the relevant services had completed there reports .

"It has been devastating to see all our hard work and investment go up In flames.

"I will take some time to decide my next steps moving forward."

Suffolk police are encouraging any witnesses to come forward and help with the investigation.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "The incident is being investigated as an arson.

"The investigation is ongoing."

Anyone with any information about the fire should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/53286/19.

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