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News Archive > General > Arrest Follows Blaze Battles By 70 Firefighters

Arrest Follows Blaze Battles By 70 Firefighters

By Sharon Sullivan 2nd September 2020

Arrest Follows Blaze Battles By 70 Firefighters
The scene of the fire at Trennick Villas, a former residential home in Malpas Road. Below, the officer in charge of the incident, Richard Keast

By MATT DIXON - mattdixon@trurovoice.co.uk

POLICE investigating a massive blaze tackled by more than 70 firefighters have arrested a man on suspicion of arson. Cornwall’s critical control centre was “flooded” with 999 calls as flames lit up the sky over Malpas on Monday night.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson following an all-night blaze tackled by more than 70 firefighters in Truro.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s critical control centre was flooded with 999 calls raising the alarm about the fire at Trennick Villas, a derelict building which was a former residential home.

A statement from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called at 2.35am on Monday, August 31 by the fire service to Malpas Road, Truro, following reports of smoke seen coming from a building.

“Fire crews put out the fire and police attended to assist with a cordon. “The cause of the fire is currently being treated as arson and enquires are ongoing. “A 44-year-old man from Truro was arrested on suspicion of arson and later released under investigation pending further enquiries.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident reference number CR/ 072739/20.”

The Truro Voice was on the scene just before 8am, by which time the fire had been brought under control. Fire service station manager Richard Keast told us: “On arrival at the scene Truro crews found a well-established fire, so the pre-determined allowance of three appliances was quickly escalated to four, then to six.

“Then at the height of the fire we had eight appliances from across Cornwall. “That included other specialist units including the landing platform, decontamination units and a host of other officers on scene.”

Fire had spread to the roof of the disused two-storey building in several places but there were concerns that there could be homeless people inside. “It was highlighted to crews that there could be rough sleepers in the property, but there were no persons in the building, which was absolutely great news,” said Mr Keast.

“There were no injuries, no fatalities and we’re in the process of making up the scene.” Ambulance and police crews had earlier arrived on the scene near Carew Pole Close at around 3am, to assist the eight pumping appliances and numerous supporting vehicles.

A total of 16 fire service vehicles were still on scene at 6am. Other specialist kit in use included the aerial ladder platform, incident command unit, environmental support unit and the breathing apparatus support unit.

Appliances from Perranporth and Tolvaddon were among those supporting. Crews remained there as dawn broke, with most appliances returning to their home stations by mid-morning. Malpas Road remained closed for several hours in the morning while the building was made safe. An eye witness living in a nearby house, who did not want to be named, believed that if the wind had been blowing in a different direction, the roof of her house and several others would have caught fire.

By Sharon Sullivan 2nd September 2020

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