Public toilets to be closed for months after arson attack

PUBLISHED: 17:22 12 August 2019

The toilets in Jarvis Close. Picture: Google

The toilets in Jarvis Close. Picture: Google

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Public toilets in a residential area of Exmouth will be closed for months after an arson attack.

Vandals stuffed a toilet, in Jarvis Close, Littleham, with loo roll before setting it alight causing 'extensive damage' to the single storey building.

As a result, the block of toilets will be closed for 'a couple months' while repairs are done.

Devon and Cornwall Police say they are treating the incident, which happened on Wednesday, August 7, as arson.

East Devon District Council, which owns the toilet block, said it was a 'deliberate act' of vandalism.

A spokesman for the authority said: "In the ladies disabled toilet, toilet roll was forced down the toilet pan and set light to.

"As a result damage has occurred to the ladies disabled toilet and it will therefore be out of action for a couple of months while repairs are carried out.

"We are in contact with our insurers and once we have the go ahead from them, repairs will be carried out as quickly as possible.

"It was fortunate that as the fire took hold it ruptured the toilet cistern, and we believe that the water from the cistern and the cold water supply pipe became a major contributing factor in putting out the fire."

Fire engines from Exmouth were called out at around 6pm after reports of a fire at the public toilets.

On arrival, the incident commander confirmed there was a fire in the single-storey building.

Firefighters used a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire and a positive ventilation fan to clear the smoke.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "The fire involved waste paper that had been put into the toilet bowl.

"The fire caused significant damage to the toilet bowl and the rest of the cubicle was severely damaged by smoke.

"The cause of the fire was believed to be deliberate."

Police are appealing for witnesses as they investigate the incident.

Anyone with information relating to this incident should contact the police via 101@dc.poice.uk or by ringing 101, quoting reference CR/071938/19

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