‘Suspicious’ Bumble and Bee roof fire being treated as arson –investigation launched
PUBLISHED: 10:30 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 09 July 2020
A ‘suspicious’ fire which ripped through part of the roof of a popular Exmouth tearoom is being treated by police as arson.
The blaze damaged half the roof space of Bumble and Bee, in Manor Gardens, in the early hours of Wednesday (July 8).
Police say the fire started in a bin next to the café.
Six fire engines, including two from Exmouth, were sent to extinguish the blaze.
A joint investigation has been launched by Devon and Cornwall Police and the fire service.
In a statement posted on social media on behalf of owners Deborah and Toby Quine and their team said they were ‘devastated’ and for the time being they have ‘lost the heart of the company’.
They thanked Peter from the Manor Hotel for raising the alarm.
Two fire engines from Exmouth and one from Middlemoor, as well as an aerial ladder platform from Danes Castle, were called out shortly after 3am after reports of a fire in a tearoom.
Crews confirmed there was smoke and flames coming from the building and additional appliances were requested from Topsham and Sidmouth.
The command support unit from Honiton and the incident support unit from Bovey Tracey also attended.
Shortly after 3am the fire service confirmed that the fire had been extinguished.
A fire service spokesman said: “50 per cent of the roof space of the tearoom was damaged by fire.
“The cause of the fire is being investigated.”
A police spokesman added: “Police are investigating a suspicious fire at an Exmouth café.
“A fire was started within a bin area next to Bumble and Bee café in Manor Gardens around 3am.
“The blaze spread to the café and caused extensive damage.
“Police are treating the incident as arson and a joint investigation is being conducted with the fire service.”
Scene of crime officers and CID are due to attend the café this morning and a scene guard remains in place.
Police are appealing for information from members of the public.
Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious around the time of the incident is asked to contact police by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 101, quoting crime reference CR/054621/20.
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