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Martham warehouse blaze treated as arson

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 03 July 2010

Fire: A blaze at an old warehouse in Martham is being treated as arson.

Fire: A blaze at an old warehouse in Martham is being treated as arson.

A MAJOR blaze at an old warehouse in Martham is being treated as arson.

The news of the arson investigation at the former cash-and-carry building in Hemsby Road came as fire crews were called out on Tuesday to deal with the remnant of last week's fire.

A MAJOR blaze at an old warehouse in Martham is being treated as arson.

The news of the arson investigation at the former cash-and-carry building in Hemsby Road came as fire crews were called out on Tuesday to deal with the remnant of last week's fire.

Last Thursday night's blaze caused billowing clouds of smoke containing deadly asbestos to travel through the air - leading to families being told to stay indoors.

Because of the scale of the damage, firefighters had been unable to enter the premises to make it safe - leading to Tuesday's callout. At about 6am, two engines from Martham and Acle tackled a fire caused by the smouldering remains of some foam insulation in the building.

Even though fire investigators cannot gain full access to the site, they suspect it was started by an arsonist.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service group manger Richard Herrell said: “We have reason to believe it was deliberate. The nature of Tuesday's fire is linked to part of Thursday's incident.”

At the height of Thursday's fire there were 70 firefighters tackling the flames, which led to police closing off roads and advising people living nearby to stay indoors. Eight fire appliances, including crews from Martham, Stalham, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and the aerial ladder from North Earlham, went to fight the flames, amid concerns there could be gas cylinders at the site.

One witness said: “That old factory has been there for about 20 years and has been empty for quite a lot of that time. There was a lot of popping and cracking and a lot of smoke.”

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