Man charged after bungalow blaze
POLICE charged a man with arson last night after a massive blaze tore through a Clacton bungalow.Four fire crews rushed to the blaze in Boley Drive early yesterday fearing people were trapped inside.
By Roddy Ashworth
POLICE charged a man with arson last night after a massive blaze tore through a Clacton bungalow.
Four fire crews rushed to the blaze in Boley Drive early yesterday fearing people were trapped inside.
The concerns were quickly allayed, but detectives launched an immediate investigation into how it started.
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Last night, police said a 39-year-old man had been charged with arson with intent to destroy or damage and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Crews were called to the property shortly after 5am and there were reports there could be people inside - which later proved to be untrue.
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Four children, three boys and a girl, are understood to have been among those living at the house, and they are now believed to be staying with relatives.
A woman who lived at the property is also believed to have been rehoused.
One neighbour, who declined to be named, said he had been woken up shortly after 5am.
"There were four fire appliances and an ambulance and police.
"There was an enormous amount of smoke. It was everywhere. The firefighters broke into the roof.
"It took a long time to put out, until about 7am. They keep coming back to dampen it down and check on it."
Ray Bennington, a pensioner who lives opposite the bungalow, said initially he had heard an alarm, but it was only when his wife woke him later that he realised the building was on fire.
"There was one hell of a lot of smoke. It was billowing across everywhere with the wind.
"It was certainly an eventful morning. There were safety officers, chiefs and commanders here and everything."
Two crews from Clacton attended the scene of the blaze along with one from Frinton and one from Weeley.
One firefighter who as at the scene said: "It was a very fierce fire in the roof of a bungalow. Initially it was reported there were people inside but later it was established there was no-one there.
"At first we fought the fire from the outside because there was a danger of collapse, but as soon as it was possible firefighters with breathing apparatus went inside."