Smoke-logged flats evacuated in Budleigh while firefighters tackle ‘suspicious’ early-hours wheelie bin blaze

A ‘suspicious’ fire in wheelie bins in Budleigh Salterton sparked an early-hours evacuation of occupants from smoke-logged flats on Friday morning (July 24).

Fire crews from Exmouth and Sidmouth were called to a property in Greenway Lane shortly before 3am, where they found a fire involving wheelie bins at the front of the property.

The police, who also attended the scene, said the cause of the fire was thought to be suspicious and is being investigated.

Scene of crime officers and detectives are expected at the property later today and enquiries are continuing as part of an ongoing investigation.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the Greenway Lane area of Budleigh around the time of the fire.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “On arrival crews confirmed a fire involving wheelie bins to the front of the property.

“The fire had also damaged part of the front of the building and caused smoke logging in two flats which had to be evacuated.”

They added: “After the fire was extinguished, the scene made safe and the flats ventilated the occupiers were allowed back in.

“The cause of the fire is being investigated and the police also attended.”

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said officers were called to the property by the fire service at 4.15am.

She said: “The fire had been extinguished and no damage cause to buildings or injuries to people.

“The cause of the fire is currently believed to be suspicious and enquiries remain ongoing by the fire service and police.

“Scene of crime officers and CID are due to attend today and a scene guard remains in place.”

Fire crews used a hose reel jet, a safety jet, small tools, short extension ladders and a thermal imaging camera to extinguish the flames.

If you have information to help police, call 101, quoting log 114.

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