Arsonists strike at newspaper store

PUBLISHED: 15:27 01 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

The mess left

The mess left

ARSONISTS have destroyed a £13,000 portable building and thousands of pounds worth of stock belonging to Ely s Burrows newsagents. Owner Jeff Burrows has been left counting the cost of the blaze at the Market Street building which insurance companies refu

ARSONISTS have destroyed a £13,000 portable building and thousands of pounds worth of stock belonging to Ely's Burrows newsagents.

Owner Jeff Burrows has been left counting the cost of the blaze at the Market Street building which insurance companies refused to protect.

Twenty five fire-fighters, many wearing breathing apparatus, tackled the fierce fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning as it threatened nearby shops and offices.

Mr Burrows received a call at home from the emergency services saying a neighbouring building was on fire but, on arriving at the scene, discovered it was his newspaper store.

Just three days earlier the 15 metres by five metres building had been fitted out with new benches.

Mr Burrows said: "This building is essential for our business but it wasn't insured. The insurance company wouldn't cover it.

"We used the building to sort out the papers ready for delivery and there was about £5,000 worth of stock, including birthday cards, stored there."

Fire-fighters used thermal imaging cameras to track the blaze as it threatened nearby buildings including a two-storey warehouse bought by Mr Burrows' grandfather in 1923 which is now derelict.

Investigators believe the fire broke out between 8pm and 10pm on Monday night and police are appealing for anyone in the area at that time who may have information to come forward.

Shop staff fear the blaze will have a knock-on effect for the business at the weekend as they struggle to organise deliveries of bulky newspapers and magazine supplements from the shop.

Mr Burrows launched a clean-up operation yesterday (Wednesday) and police investigating the blaze are scanning CCTV footage for clues.

A Police spokesperson said: "Fire investigators have concluded that this was a deliberate fire. It is being investigated as arson not endangering life."

Anyone with any information should contact Ely Police on 08456 456 4564 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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