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House fire started deliberately

PUBLISHED: 09:42 22 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

ARSONISTS who started a fire on a building site after climbing the roof of a half-built house may have been youngsters, an investigating officer has revealed.

ARSONISTS who started a fire on a building site after climbing the roof of a half-built house may have been youngsters, an investigating officer has revealed.

After spending over four hours at the scene in Finningham, near Stowmarket, Kevin Burton, divisional officer for Suffolk Fire Service, confirmed they were treating the fire in the early hours of yesterday morning as arson.

DO Burton said: "This was definitely caused by a deliberate ignition, there was absolutely nothing in the houses to cause an accident.

"Our best assumption is that it looks as if it could have been youngsters setting fire to roofing materials which were in place.

"We took some of the material and tested it – it doesn't burst into flames and it does burn gradually."

DO Burton said the arsonists had to start the fire, in Station Road, from the outside as all the windows were fitted and closed, but he added there was scaffolding around the under construction house and a ladder nearby.

He also discounted earlier reports that the fire started as a result of a petrol bomb.

He added: "Windows were fitted in the roof and one fell through on to the ground which explained the noise some people heard."

The investigating fire officer also claimed there were signs that the arsonists had attempted to gain entry into the garages on the site but had failed in their attempts.

Scenes of crime police officers were at the site yesterday as they began their investigation into the arson.

Crews from Eye, Elmswell, Ixworth and Stowmarket spent an hour tackling the blaze, which started at about 4am on Monday morning.

Neighbour Emma Griss, of Wickham Road, said: I was woken up by the noise of the engines but I didn't realise what was happening until I saw smoke billowing from the houses. I didn't see any flames but there was lots of smoke."

Situated opposite the White Horse pub, three two-storey houses are being built on the site, which are currently up for sale for £265,000 each.

The owner of the houses preferred not to comment on the incident.


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