Derelict shipyard arson probe

By Juliette MaxamPOLICE have launched an investigation into a suspected arson attack at a derelict shipyard.Five fire crews battled to put out a blaze that engulfed the former James and Stone riverside shipyard building in Brightlingsea.

By Juliette Maxam

POLICE have launched an investigation into a suspected arson attack at a derelict shipyard.

Five fire crews battled to put out a blaze that engulfed the former James and Stone riverside shipyard building in Brightlingsea.

Emergency calls were made to Essex fire service at 3.15am yesterday and two crews from Brightlingsea and Clacton were sent to the scene.


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But when they got there, firefighters saw how extensive the blaze was and called for extra help, with another crew from Clacton deployed as residents gathered to watch the drama.

However, it then turned out the fire was in danger of spreading to nearby buildings so another crew from Frinton and the aerial ladder platform engine from Colchester were also sent to help the firefighting operation.

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Leading Firefighter Mick Warner, from Clacton fire station, said: "We were there for three to four hours. It was quite an intensive fire with high flames."

The blaze is thought to have been started by arsonists and Essex Police were investigating yesterday the fire at the former shipyard buildings, which had been due to be demolished to make way for housing.

London-based developers Hampstead Homes is planning to build 150 apartments and townhouses, a restaurant, retail units, industrial units and a 60-berth marina on the site.

The first phase of the development went on sale at the end of July and almost half the 78 apartments were snapped up on the first day.

Brightlingsea Action, a group opposed the development, had hoped to buy the shipyard and develop it with some affordable, low-level housing, but leaving most of the site as an open space.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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