Murder inquiry launched after man dies in Newton Poppleford caravan blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:19 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:40 09 January 2020

The scene of a murder inquiry at a scrapyard in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 02 20TI 7077. Picture: Terry Ife

The scene of a murder inquiry at a scrapyard in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 02 20TI 7077. Picture: Terry Ife

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A man has been arrested and murder inquiry launched after a man died in a caravan blaze at a Newton Poppleford scrapyard.

The scene of a murder inquiry at a scrapyard in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 02 20TI 7075. Picture: Terry IfeThe scene of a murder inquiry at a scrapyard in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 02 20TI 7075. Picture: Terry Ife

Police were called to the scene at 2.30am on Thursday (January 9) following reports of a fire.

A man in his 40s was pronounced dead at the scene.

His next of kin have been informed.

An investigation is being led by the Major Crime Investigation Team, supported by local detectives, forensic staff, family liaison officers, neighbourhood and response teams, and an extensive range of specialists who have been working since the early hours of this morning.

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Senior investigating officer DI Lee Nattrass said: "We are currently in the very early stages of our investigation.

"A 30-year-old man was arrested in Exmouth this morning on suspicion of murder. He remains in police custody.

"At this time are keeping an open mind and I would urge everyone to avoid speculation, given we are still in the early stages of the investigation."

Superintendent Matthew Lawler said: "I know that this will cause some understandable concern in the peaceful villages of Newton Poppleford and Harpford.

"A number of police officers and specialist resources will remain visible at the scene over the next few days as part of our enquiries into this death.

"Local residents in the area will continue to see the police cordon. It is likely that detailed forensic and other work may take some days, so we expect the cordons to remain in place into the weekend.

"The roads will be opened later today, Thursday 9 January, and the main A3052 will remain unaffected.

"The local neighbourhood team have been out on foot patrol during the day today, speaking to residents and local businesses, and they will continue to be available over the next few days in order to provide advice, support, and to answer questions."

Two fire engine were sent to the scene following reports of a caravan fire and crews used hose reel jets a breathing apparatus to extinguish the fire.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the caravan was severely damaged.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police via 101 quoting log number 61 090120.

Information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111, or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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