‘Insufficient evidence’ fire in barn near Sidmouth was arson, say police

Police investigating what was thought to be a deliberately-started fire in a barn near Sidmouth have cast doubt on an arson attack.

Fire crews from Honiton, Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary, plus a water carrier from Danes Castle, in Exeter, were called to Putts Corner, at Sidbury, shortly before 11pm on Monday night (April 26), where a barn was ablaze.

The fire service said the cause of the blaze was thought to be deliberate, damaging most of the building.

Police said investigations found ‘insufficient evidence’ the blaze was an arson attack.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Police received reports of a fire in a wooden building near Putts Corner, Sidbury, just before 11pm on Monday 26 April.

“The fire was extinguished by firefighters.

“Investigations were carried out by officers who agreed there was insufficient evidence at the scene to prove arson.”

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Devon and Somerset fire control received a call from police reporting a fire in a barn.

“Fire appliances from Honiton, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth, along with a water carrier from Danes Castle, were immediately mobilised.

“On arrival, the Incident Commander confirmed that a barn measuring seven metres by twenty metres was fully-involved in fire and got crews to work to extinguish the fire using breathing apparatus, hose reel jets and main jets.

“The fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately, caused approximately seventy-five per cent heat and smoke damage to the building.”

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