Shooting club's anger at clubhouse arson

A SHOOTING club owner has told how years of effort went up in smoke when arsonists torched his clubhouse.

Laurence Cawley

A SHOOTING club owner has told how years of effort went up in smoke when arsonists torched his clubhouse.

An investigation is under way following a blaze at the Barrow Heath Shooting Club in Risby, near Bury St Edmunds, which broke out just after 9pm on Friday.

Police and firefighters believe the blaze was started deliberately. It is understood the clubhouse was both empty and locked when the fire took hold.

Fire crews fought back flames for about two hours before the blaze was brought under control.

Yesterday, the club's owner Michael Frankham told how the single-storey clubhouse was uninsured and how the blaze had completely destroyed both the clubhouse and the toilets.

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“I've built the club up from nothing,” he said. “The clubhouse and toilets are completely razed to the ground. There was a possibility of getting insurance there but the excess was so high it was not worth it.”

It has emerged the clubhouse was recently refurbished to the tune of £20,000.

Mr Frankham, who has owned the club for 14 years, has pledged to carry on and is planning to hold a shoot there this Sunday.

He said he was still waiting for the police to confirm the cause of the fire.

A spokeswoman for the police said the investigation was ongoing though confirmed the incident was being treated as arson.

“We were called by the fire service at 10.05pm on Friday night to a fire in a temporary building in Barrow,” she said.

“A joint investigation is being carried out with the fire service.”

Barrow Heath Shooting Club hosts a number of events including the Suffolk branch of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association's sporting challenge championship earlier this year.

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