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Two people arrested on suspicion of arson following major fire at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 21:59 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 06:11 30 September 2017

Dozens of fire crews are at the scene of a blaze in Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Dozens of fire crews are at the scene of a blaze in Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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Two people have been arrested in connection with the major fire on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds this evening.

The scene on Angel Hill as firefighters tackle the fire at Cycle King. 
Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThe scene on Angel Hill as firefighters tackle the fire at Cycle King. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Fire appliances from across much of Suffolk have been tackling the blaze, which began at the Cycle King shop, which was destroyed, while two historic neighbouring premises were smoke damaged – but the fire crews managed to prevent it from devastating any other buildings.

A total of 15 fire crews were at the scene – including the fire service turntable ladder.

A police spokesman said: “Two men aged 22 and 23 have subsequently been arrested on suspicion of arson.

“Both were taken to hospital to receive treatment for smoke inhalation, where one of them remains.

Crews tackle the fire at Cycle King on Angel Hill. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTCrews tackle the fire at Cycle King on Angel Hill. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

“The other has now been brought to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning. No one else is believed to have been harmed as a result of the fire.”

Angel Hill remains closed to traffic and is expected to reopen either partially or fully by Monday morning, as fire crews remain on scene to dampen down the site. However, it will be open to pedestrians.

The fire broke out in a storeroom behind the Cycle King shop – which backs on to the Abbey Gardens – and firefighters battled to prevent the flames from spreading.

No one was seriously hurt in the fire although two people were treated for smoke inhalation.

It is understood that two people are being questioned by the police investigating the possibility that the fire could have been started deliberately.

As well as tackling the fire in the cycle shop, firefighters also succeeded in saving other buildings. The shop is right next door to the One Bull, one of the town’s best-known pubs.

Smoke billows from the fire at Cycle King on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: JAMIE BLYTHSmoke billows from the fire at Cycle King on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: JAMIE BLYTH

The pub owners said last night no-one had been hurt but tweeted: “we can confirm that we will be closed until further notice.”

The One Bull is 600 years old and one of the market town’s oldest pubs.

There is a heavy emergency service presence on Angel Hill due to a fire in a storeroom at Cycle King. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThere is a heavy emergency service presence on Angel Hill due to a fire in a storeroom at Cycle King. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Firefighters working inside Cycle King appeared to have contained the blaze and prevented the flames spreading, although it was understood to still be burning fiercely.

On the other side of the cycle shop is a three-storey property.

Teams are expected to remain at the scene throughout the morning and Angel Hill was closed to traffic and diversions were set up. The area may remain closed to traffic over the weekend as investigations into the fire get under way.

Jamie Blyth, who watched the drama unfold, said: “You could hear cracking and popping of rubber – tyres presumably, as police extended the cordon to Abbeygate Street and Churchgate Street.

Smoke from the fire on Angel Hill was drifting across a large area of Bury St Edmunds this evening. Picture: JAMIE BLYTHSmoke from the fire on Angel Hill was drifting across a large area of Bury St Edmunds this evening. Picture: JAMIE BLYTH

“It was surreal hearing and watching the emergency services converging on the scene. . . they were on site incredibly quickly and dousing the buildings from above.

“It all appeared seamless – almost like an exercise. Commendable, calm control in devastating circumstances. Sad, sad stuff.”

An aerial platform is used by crews to tackle the Cycle King blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTAn aerial platform is used by crews to tackle the Cycle King blaze. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Area Commander Ken Williamson said: “We were called at 5pm this evening to a report of a commercial property well alight with people reportedly in the building.

“While two people are being treated for smoke inhalation, everyone is now accounted for. Fire crews have been fighting the fire and stopping it from spreading for several hours and are likely to continue doing so into the night.

Fire crews tackle the blaze at Cycle King in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ELLA THOMASFire crews tackle the blaze at Cycle King in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ELLA THOMAS

“At this stage we do not know the cause of the fire, but will be conducting an investigation.”

Crews attending were two from Bury St Edmunds, and two from Ipswich East, plus Elmswell, Long Melford, Wickhambrook, Ixworth, Newmarket, Mildenhall, Thetford, Attleborough, Stowmarket, Clare, Haverhill, and Brandon.

The scene as firefighters tackle the serious fire at the Cycle King shop - crews will be in attendance all night. Picture:ANDY ABBOTTThe scene as firefighters tackle the serious fire at the Cycle King shop - crews will be in attendance all night. Picture:ANDY ABBOTT

A police spokesman thanked members of the public for respecting the work of the emergency services and keeping their distance from the fire.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101, quoting reference CAD 332 of September 29.

The turntable ladder was used to pour water on from above. Picture:ANDY ABBOTTThe turntable ladder was used to pour water on from above. Picture:ANDY ABBOTT

Firefighters train water jets into the shop's interior. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTFirefighters train water jets into the shop's interior. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Smoke billows out of the Cycle King shop as firefighters bring the blze under control. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTSmoke billows out of the Cycle King shop as firefighters bring the blze under control. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The turntable ladder appliance at the scene. Picture:ANDY ABBOTTThe turntable ladder appliance at the scene. Picture:ANDY ABBOTT

A firefighter armed with an axe working at the scene. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTA firefighter armed with an axe working at the scene. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Crews will work long into the night. Picture:ANDY ABBOTTCrews will work long into the night. Picture:ANDY ABBOTT

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