Police hunt pub arsonists

POLICE are hunting arsonists who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after they torched a north Suffolk public house days after it was extensively renovated.

POLICE are hunting arsonists who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after they torched a north Suffolk public house days after it was extensively renovated.

The alarm was raised at the Hulvergate Lodge in Hulver Street, near Beccles, during the early hours of yesterday.

Fire crews from Beccles, Wrentham, Southwold and Lowestoft fought the blaze that took nearly two hours to bring under control.

A large part of the pub's roof was destroyed in the fire and both the ground and first floor of the detached building were damaged. No on was hurt in the fire.


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From first light yesterday police officers and fire service investigators began an inquiry to try and establish how the fire had started.

The pub, along with its gardens and car park, was sealed off as investigators began their task.

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A Suffolk police spokeswoman confirmed that the blaze, originally treated as suspicious, was now thought to be the work of arsonists.

It was about 12.45am when the fire crews were called to the pub and found a large part of the roof on fire.

Fire crews worked both inside and outside the building to tackle the blaze and brought it under control shortly before 2.30am.

The popular freehouse, café bar and restaurant in Hulver Street, is close to Beccles Heliport on the B1127 road towards Southwold and Wrentham, and is believed to have been sold recently.

A notice on the edge of the pavement at the entrance to the pub says: "under new management".

One villager, who asked not to be named, said that new managers had only been at the pub for a few days.

"It is a crying shame to see all this damage as the pub has only recently been renovated. The new people only started there a few days ago," he said.

Managers and staff at the pub were yesterdaytoo upset to talk about the blaze or say when it is hoped to re-open.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "The fire at the Hulvergate Lodge is being treated as a crime scene. If anyone has any information about the blaze or saw anything suspicious in the Hulver Street area either late Sunday night or early Monday morning they should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500."

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