Gallery: Police keep open mind about Wisbech arsonists after fifth fire in six weeks

PUBLISHED: 10:09 10 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 June 2010

The scene of the latest fire in North Brink, Wisbech.

The scene of the latest fire in North Brink, Wisbech.

THE possibility of serial arsonists targeting a Fenland town has not been ruled out by police after a fifth fire in six weeks.

Dozens of firefighters raced to Wisbech s North Brink at 10pm on Saturday evening to tackle the latest blaze in the town which s

The house in North Brink, left, scene of Saturday's fire, and a few doors down scaffolding up at the Phoenix Hotel.

THE possibility of serial arsonists targeting a Fenland town has not been ruled out by police after a fifth fire in six weeks.

Dozens of firefighters raced to Wisbech's North Brink at 10pm on Saturday evening to tackle the latest blaze in the town which started at the rear of a three-storey building.

Nine fire appliances, including the turntable ladder from the King's Lynn station, arrived at the scene along with police officers, who evacuated nearby residents from their homes.

The firefighters from Wisbech, March, Huntingdon, Long Sutton, King's Lynn and Outwell stations managed to contain the fire and stop it spreading to other nearby buildings by midnight.

Damage at the Flower Pot pub in Elm Road, Wisbech.

Det Insp Lorraine Parker appealed for people who were in the North Brink area at the time of the fire to come forward.

She said: "We know that this was arson and we would like to speak to people who were in the vicinity of Chapel road, at the rear of the property, and Chapel Street car park.

"We need to identify everyone who was parked in the car park between 9.30pm and 10.15pm on Saturday evening. It's just as important to identify the people who have nothing to do with this fire so we can identify the people who we believe can help with the investigation."

Det Insp Parker said firefighters attended a blaze at the same property on April 27 and that officers, who had declared the fire as not suspicious at the time, will revisit their investigation.

Scaffolding now supports the Phoenix Hotel in North Brink.

Saturday's blaze follows a fire at the derelict Flower Pot pub, in Elm Road, at 2.20am on Friday morning.

As many as 25 firefighters from Wisbech, West Walton, Outwell and March attended the blaze as well as the turntable ladder from Dogsthorpe in Peterborough.

Both floors in the two-storey building were destroyed and the property is due to be demolished after being declared structurally unsound.

Kevin Desborough and his partner Sue Corbett were the first to discover the fire opposite their home.

Constantine House in Nene Quay was scene of the first fire six weeks ago. Pictures: STEVE WILLIAMS

Mr Desborough said: "Our dogs were barking so Sue got up to see what was happening and came back to tell me there was a fire at the Flower Pot.

"She phoned the fire brigade and I went to the flat next door to the pub and woke up the bloke in there.

"There was smoke billowing out of the building and you could feel the heat of the fire on the other side of the road."

Both blazes come after the 16-bed Phoneix Hotel and Restaurant in North Brink and the three-storey Constantine House in Nene Quay were both destroyed by fires on April 29 and March 27 respectively.

Det Insp Parker continued: "The same team of fire investigators and police officers are investigating a number of fires which have occurred in Wisbech in the past few weeks and we are keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked."

Police said two boys have been detained and bailed until next month after the fire in Elm Road. There have not been any arrests in connection to the other fires.

Anyone with information about the fires can contact DI Parker at Wisbech Police Station on 0345 456 4564.


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