Police are investigating an explosion at Sobar in Bevois Valley Road, Southampton

Police hunting arsonists after explosion rocks bar

Police hunting arsonists after explosion rocks bar

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

ARSONISTS have been accused of putting lives at risk by causing an explosion at a Southampton bar that is next door to student flats.

The culprits scaled a brick wall surrounding the bar’s beer garden and poured petrol onto wooden decking just yards from 42 apartments where students were sleeping.

The fire triggered a blast that sent blazing debris hurtling into the air and could be heard for miles around.

Police and fire crews from across the city were called to The Sobar in Bevois Valley Road in the early hours of Saturday.

The neighbouring Blue Box Apartments were evacuated amid fears that the flames could spread to the five-storey block.

No-one was hurt but police investigating the blaze say the consequences could have been “much worse”.

A discarded petrol can was found in the street outside the bar.

Now owner Neville Virgin, 55, is offering a cash reward for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the arson attack, which he described as a “stupid, senseless act”.

“I desperately want them caught,” he said. “They caused a massive explosion that could have killed someone. Debris from the blast actually landed on the roof of the flats. The more you think about it the more it beggars belief.”

The family-run student bar was closed when the blaze broke out just after 3am. A party due to have been held in the beer garden on Saturday evening had to be cancelled leaving 400 guests disappointed.

About 30 firefighters from four stations – Eastleigh, Hightown, St Mary’s and Redbridge – tackled the blaze.

The main building was unaffected but the fire reduced most of the beer garden to a charred ruin, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

A discarded petrol can was found in the narrow side street between The Sobar and the Bevois Valley branch of Aldi.

Detective Constable Steve Thomas of Southampton CID said: “We’re in the early stages of our investigation but at this time we believe the fire was caused deliberately.

“This was a large fire and we received many calls at the time from members of the public.

“Fortunately the bar was closed at the time of the fire and no-one was injured but the circumstances could have been much worse.”

Ring Southampton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:36am Mon 4 Aug 14

massimoosti says...

The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by ....................
.................

Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.
The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by .................... ................. Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them. massimoosti
  • Score: -22

12:44pm Mon 4 Aug 14

thesouth says...

massimoosti wrote:
The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by ....................

.................

Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.
Explain exactly what you mean
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by .................... ................. Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.[/p][/quote]Explain exactly what you mean thesouth
  • Score: 10

12:56pm Mon 4 Aug 14

camerajuan says...

massimoosti wrote:
The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by ....................

.................

Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.
^ What he said ^

What blinkers exactly d'you think are on and who actually attends these parties oh oracle?
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by .................... ................. Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.[/p][/quote]^ What he said ^ What blinkers exactly d'you think are on and who actually attends these parties oh oracle? camerajuan
  • Score: 5

1:50pm Mon 4 Aug 14

killared says...

massimoosti wrote:
The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by ....................

.................

Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.
You are so quick to judge !
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by .................... ................. Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.[/p][/quote]You are so quick to judge ! killared
  • Score: 3

2:40pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Abkhazsoyuz says...

From................
.Daa.... Tottenham Posse.
From................ .Daa.... Tottenham Posse. Abkhazsoyuz
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Mon 4 Aug 14

SNUGGLES 78 says...

massimoosti wrote:
The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by ....................

.................

Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.
different clientele to her majesties garden parties .
[quote][p][bold]massimoosti[/bold] wrote: The family run pub which was due to host a garden party to be attended by .................... ................. Don't be blinkered about these parties and who attends them.[/p][/quote]different clientele to her majesties garden parties . SNUGGLES 78
  • Score: 3

6:22pm Mon 4 Aug 14

MrBrightside85 says...

Abkhazsoyuz wrote:
From................

.Daa.... Tottenham Posse.
Family friendly?? Ok then, despite advertising it as students or ex students only on their Facebook page.

Wasn't there a bomb scare here not too long ago? Wonder if they're connected.
[quote][p][bold]Abkhazsoyuz[/bold] wrote: From................ .Daa.... Tottenham Posse.[/p][/quote]Family friendly?? Ok then, despite advertising it as students or ex students only on their Facebook page. Wasn't there a bomb scare here not too long ago? Wonder if they're connected. MrBrightside85
  • Score: -4

8:56pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Justme83 says...

Doesn't say family friendly, says family run, maybe learn to read??..........
Doesn't say family friendly, says family run, maybe learn to read??.......... Justme83
  • Score: 4

9:11pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Zexagon says...

Neville Virgin is a sound fella.
Neville Virgin is a sound fella. Zexagon
  • Score: 1

4:24pm Wed 6 Aug 14

camerajuan says...

MrBrightside85 wrote:
Abkhazsoyuz wrote:
From................


.Daa.... Tottenham Posse.
Family friendly?? Ok then, despite advertising it as students or ex students only on their Facebook page.

Wasn't there a bomb scare here not too long ago? Wonder if they're connected.
Says nothing about family friendly anywhere. It's a family run bar which is used for students mainly.

Should probably check these things before you speak.
[quote][p][bold]MrBrightside85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abkhazsoyuz[/bold] wrote: From................ .Daa.... Tottenham Posse.[/p][/quote]Family friendly?? Ok then, despite advertising it as students or ex students only on their Facebook page. Wasn't there a bomb scare here not too long ago? Wonder if they're connected.[/p][/quote]Says nothing about family friendly anywhere. It's a family run bar which is used for students mainly. Should probably check these things before you speak. camerajuan
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree