Tuesday, 12 December 2017

House fire update: suspected arson attack

A FIRE that ripped through a Henley house is being treated as arson

A FIRE that ripped through a Henley house is being treated as arson.

Police are investigating the blaze, which happened at the 19th century property at Fair Mile cemetery on Monday.

About 40 firefighters were called to the incident after a member of the public raised the alarm at about 9.15am on Monday.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building amid fears that people may have been inside but the owners were out.

The house is owned by architect Cornelius Kavanagh, 48, and his wife Jennifer, 49, who live there with their two children.

The fire crews had the flames under control in about 20 minutes but the brick detached property was badly damaged inside and about half of the roof was destroyed.

The fire is believed to have started on the first floor of the house and at its height bright orange flames could be seen leaping out of the top of the property where the roof had been.

Mr Kavanagh was at work in Reading when a friend called him and drove straight home.

He said: ?I have no clue what caused the fire. I think the fire brigade have done a really good job in containing the fire and preventing worse damage and I would like to thank them.

The house was built in 1868 and was lived in by the gravediggers for the cemetery until 1993 when it was converted into a residential property.

Pc Gavin Chan, of Didcot police, appealed for information.

He said: ?I am keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the area around 9am maybe travelling to work, and saw this fire.

?We are investigating the cause and any detail, no matter how small, will help establish what happened.?

Anyone with any information should call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number, 101.

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