Man arrested on suspicion of murder following caravan fire at Newton Poppleford scrapyard

Police have launched a murder enquiry following a caravan fire at a scrapyard in Newton Poppleford.

The blaze was reported in the early hours of this morning.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was notified at around 2.30am amid concerns for the welfare of a man reported to be inside the caravan.

Officers, along with fire and ambulance crews, attended the scene where a local man in his 40s was pronounced deceased.

His next of kin have been informed.

Officers from the Major Crime Investigating Team are currently in the initial stages of the investigation.

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 we 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.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 quoting 0061 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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