Arson investigation launched into Plymouth fire
Witnesses sought by police
Police are appealing for witnesses to a suspicious fire at a block of flats in Plymouth yesterday morning [5 September].
An arson investigation has been launched after two fires were started deliberately within the six-storey building in Savage Road, St Budeaux, just before 11am.
The fire caused extensive damage to the communal central stairwell as well as smoke damage to the 12 flats within the block.
Five residents were rescued from the building by firefighters and treated by ambulance. Two people suffered minor smoke inhalation and were taken to Derriford Hospital.
Eleven families, around 30 residents, have been unable to return to their homes due to the damage caused. Sanctuary Housing, which owns the building, has provided temporary accommodation for some residents while longer-term housing options are explored.
A forensic examination of the scene by police and fire investigators has determined the cause as arson. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.
As part of the enquiry, police are appealing to any witnesses or residents who heard or saw any suspicious activity or individuals around the flats before the fire broke out to come forward.
Detective Sergeant Maggie Wood, from Devonport CID, said: “This was a major incident for the city and extremely distressing incident for the affected residents who have temporarily lost their homes.
“We are keen to ensure that we have spoken to everyone who has any involvement in this incident, including residents and witnesses. If they haven’t spoken to us or passed their details we would like to hear from them.
“Police continue to work with partner agencies, including Sanctuary Housing and Plymouth City Council, to help affected residents where we can.
“The local neighbourhood team is offering a reassuring presence within the area to help alleviate residents’ concerns. We would also remind people not to try to re-enter the affected premises, and to approach the police and other agencies with any worries they may have.”
The building has been secured and a scene guard remains in place.
Anyone who can assist with the investigation is asked to contact police via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/081665/18.
Information can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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