VIDEO: Police investigating arson attack on Scout hut in Budleigh appeal for witnesses

Police investigating an arson attack on a Scout building in Budleigh Salterton are appealing for information and witnesses.

Fire crews from East Devon and Exeter, plus the Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR) were called to tackle the equipment store blaze in Halse Hill Lane, Budleigh, on Sunday night (February 20).

Budleigh

Image: with permission.

Police were called to investigate after the fire service said the blaze was started deliberately.

The fire completely destroyed the Scout building.

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area at around 10.20pm, when the fire was spotted.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: “Police are investigating a suspicious fire which destroyed a Scout storage hut in Budleigh Salterton.

“Fire crews alerted police at 11.55pm on Sunday 20 February. They service had been on scene fighting the fire since 10.20pm.

“The building in Halse Hill Lane, which had been used as an equipment store, was completely destroyed.

“Fire investigators believe the fire was deliberately set.

“Police are appealing for witnesses and asking for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area around the building at the time of the incident to contact them.”

Equipment believed to be worth thousands of pounds stored inside the hut for use by the Scouts was destroyed, such as tents, ropes, tools and furniture.

Crews from Danes Castle and Middlemoor fire stations, in Exeter, joined firefighters from Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, and the Devon and Somerset Urban Search and Rescue team, to tackle the blaze.

The Scout building collapsed and the fire was trapped underneath. Firefighters cleared a path to the structure, to pick it up and turn it over until the flames were extinguished.

Several homes near the stricken building went without power when the blaze impacted a fuse box.

A small gas cylinder inside the building was reported to have exploded in the heat, and others were removed by the fire service.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: Fire engines were despatched to a derelict building during the evening of 20th February.

“Upon arrival crews confirmed that the building was well alight.

“Crews worked throughout the night with 45-mil jets and ground monitors to extinguish the fire, eventually using it to dampen down hotspots.

“The cause is believed to be deliberate.”

If you have information to help police, contact 101@dc.police.uk or telephone 101, quoting crime reference CR/015376/22.

Budleigh

Image and videos: with permission.

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