Suspected arson attack which destroyed car in Exmouth trading estate being treated as isolated incident

PUBLISHED: 10:38 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:40 04 August 2020

Fire crews dealing with a vehicle on fire in Pankhurst Close. Picture: Exmouth Fire Station

Fire crews dealing with a vehicle on fire in Pankhurst Close. Picture: Exmouth Fire Station

Archant

An arson attack on a car in Exmouth on Saturday (August 1) is not being linked to a series of deliberate fires in the area, police say.

Fire crews dealing with a vehicle on fire in Pankhurst Close. Picture: Exmouth Fire StationFire crews dealing with a vehicle on fire in Pankhurst Close. Picture: Exmouth Fire Station

Firefighters from Exmouth, Middlemoor and Danes Castle were called out at around 3.45pm after reports of smoke possibly coming from a building in Pankhurst Close.

On arrival, fire crews confirmed that a vehicle was well alight and the fire had spread to a commercial property.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets and a covering jet to extinguish the fire.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the vehicle was completely damaged by the fire as were windows and cladding from the commercial building.

A fire service spokesman said the cause of the fire is believed to have been deliberate.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire but say it is being treated as an isolated incident and is not linked to eight other arson incidents in Exmouth and Budleigh in the last two months.

READ MORE: Two fires at Budleigh sheltered accommodation being investigated as arson

Exmouth’s red watch was one of the crews on the scene.

A spokesman for red watch said: “The fire was started in a car adjacent to the derelict commercial building and dealt with by the initial attending crew.

“Luckily the call came in quick before it spread.

“The police were quick to be on scene and are making their investigations.

“The fire was extinguished by two firefighters in breathing apparatus using a hose reel jet.

“Further tools were used to make sure the fire hadn’t spread to the building.

“Crews had to decontaminate after the incident due to the risk of asbestos being involved.”

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating reports of arson after emergency services were called to Pankhurst Close at 3.45pm on Saturday, August 1, following reports that a vehicle had been located on fire.

“The cause of the fire is believed to be deliberate and enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances.”

• A teenager was arrested on suspicion of arson but later released. A child was arrested and later released on police bail until August 25.


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