Man arrested for arson after Harbour Road flat fire

Fire engines at the scene in Harbour Road, Seaton. Picture: Chris Carson

Fire engines at the scene in Harbour Road, Seaton. Picture: Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson following a major fire in a set of flats above the Royal Clarence Pub in Seaton.

Emergency services were called at 7.50am to Harbour Road on December 2 after a fire broke out in the property, which accommodates 15 flats.

Firefighters from across Devon quickly evacuated the building and spent hours fighting the blaze.

An ambulance spokesperson said five vehicles were sent to the scene with one person taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

A man was arrested a few hours later and remains in custody.

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Superintendent Matt Lawler, the local policing commander for Exeter, East and Mid Devon said it was a crime scene, and praised the ‘exceptional work’ of the fire service.

He said: “Firstly, we are all relieved that no-one has been significantly hurt as a result of this fire. It has however caused major damage to the property, and a full scale multi-agency response was put in place.

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“Whilst the fire was extinguished, further work was needed to check the safety of gas, electricity and water supplies to the property and this meant significant disruption in Seaton town centre during the course of the day.

“We would like to sincerely thank residents and local businesses for their patience and support.”

Police confirmed no-one was left in the property and had identified residents not at the scene.

A police guard was set up throughout the night while forensic work is carried out.

A police spokesman said officers are linking their investigation with a collision that took place in Castle Hill in Seaton shortly before where a car struck a wall.

Anyone who may have seen a Blue Fiat Panda involved in a collision with the wall of a property on Castle Hill, or in Harbour Road, Seaton between 7am and 8am is asked to call 101, quoting incident reference 313 dated 02/12/18.

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