Two fires at Budleigh sheltered accommodation being investigated as arson

PUBLISHED: 10:51 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:53 30 July 2020

Inspecting the fire damage to a property in Budleigh. Picture: supplied

Inspecting the fire damage to a property in Budleigh. Picture: supplied

Picture: supplied

Two small fires which happened within the space of five days at sheltered accommodation in Budleigh Salterton are being treated as arson by police.

The latest fire was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday (July 29) coming from an external gas main at the Greenhaven sheltered properties, owned by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Residents were evacuated while engineers ensured the gas main was made safe.

No one was hurt and district council housing officers were on site on Wednesday providing reassurance to residents. Police and the fire service were also at the scene as part of their investigations.

This comes after a fire in the early hours of Friday (July 24) when a recycling box at the entrance to some of the flats was set alight.

EDDC say the fire damaged a recycling storage box, an outside light and some UPVC cladding on the front of the building.

There was a partial evacuation of residents and no one was injured.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “The council is asking all housing tenants in East Devon to be vigilant following a number of fires in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

“Tenants are asked to ensure all fire doors, communal entrance doors and bin store doors are kept shut and locked where possible and that all communal hallway areas are clear of any items.

“Tenants are advised to put out their recycling and waste as late as possible before collection.”

Devon and Cornwall Police previously said that seven fires in the Exmouth and Budleigh area were being linked as arson attacks.

Exmouth Pavilion, Bumble and Bee Café in Manor Gardens, Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club, Budleigh Salterton Football Club and Harbour View Café have all been targeted in the last two months.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Tim Hegarty of Exmouth CID said: “We are continuing to work alongside our colleagues at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to make enquires and establish the cause of these fires.”

Anyone who has information that can help police investigations is asked to call 101, quoting crime reference number CR/61698/20 or, in an emergency, ring 999.

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