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Ten families fled blaze at building site in Winchester
INVESTIGATORS suspect a devastating fire that ripped through a house in Winchester was started deliberately.
In the early hours of August 22, ten families fled their homes as a blaze tore through a soon-to-be completed housing complex in Hatherley Road, Fulflood.
Forty firefighters battled the flames and residents described the scene as like a “volcanic eruption”.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue announced today that they do not think the fire was an accident.
Rob Carter, director of the property's developers, Millgate, said: “You just think: why would somebody want to do that?
“It took a week to sink in but it seems there are people in this world who will do this sort of thing.”
Mr Carter, who was abroad at the time, first saw the damage when he visited the Hampshire Chronicle website.
He said he had been confident his builders were not at fault.
“The report said that all the electrics were first class and done perfectly,” he said.
Building work restarted in September and Millgate say the project should be complete by Easter 2014.
The scene was investigated by specialists from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, and detectives from Hampshire Constabulary.
Fire Investigation Officer, Andy Earl, said: “This investigation is still on-going, but, at this time, the investigation has ruled that the fire was not started by an accidental ignition source such as faulty electrics or by any of the on-site staff who had been working at the property the previous day.”
It is believed police are reviewing CCTV footage taken from a fire engine at the scene, but at the time of going to press, requests for a comment had not been responded to.
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