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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Cause of Cobridge fire is released

17/11/2016

The cause of a fire which destroyed a terraced house in Cobridge and severely damaged four others has been classed as deliberate.

"The evidence strongly suggests that this fire was started intentionally. It has not only had a devastating impact on the local community and the neighbours who had to be evacuated but it also put the firefighters who tackled the blaze at unnecessary risk which is unforgivable. Those responsible for committing such acts may also be diverting vital frontline services away from other potentially life-threatening incidents such as persons reported house fires and road traffic collisions."

The blaze started in the loft of one property on Kirby Street, spreading to the roof space of the houses on either side. Smoke damage was also caused to the first and fifth properties.

Crews from Hanley, Sandyford, Burslem, Newcastle and Ipstones along with the Aerial Ladder Platform from Longton tackled the blaze.

Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets and one main jet to extinguish the fire. The first appliance arrived at 7.25am yesterday and the last crew left at 8.26pm.

Station Manager Carl Mason, who carried out the fire investigation, said: "This was a severe blaze which destroyed the house in which it started, caused extensive fire damage to the two neighbouring properties and smoke damage to a further two homes. It was incredibly lucky that no one was hurt as a result of this incident, particularly as it was reported at a time when many people are getting ready for work or school.

"The evidence strongly suggests that this fire was started intentionally. It has not only had a devastating impact on the local community and the neighbours who had to be evacuated but it also put the firefighters who tackled the blaze at unnecessary risk which is unforgivable. Those responsible for committing such acts may also be diverting vital frontline services away from other potentially life-threatening incidents such as persons reported house fires and road traffic collisions."

Inspector Mark Churton, from Stoke North Local Policing Team, added: "Our investigation to find those responsible for the fire is ongoing and I would urge anyone with information to contact us. The fire caused a great deal of disruption to local residents yesterday and we appreciate their patience and understanding.

"We have now located the landlord and the property has been boarded up and made secure. Anyone with information on suspicious persons and/or activity at the address is urged to report it to us on 101 quoting incident number 105 of November 16."