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Series of potential arsons now being linked

Fire crews from across Devon were called to Exmouth overnight after a suspected arson - which follows similar incidents in the town over the past few weeks.

Seven fire engines were needed overnight to put it out at the Pavilion on the Esplanade - with a crew from Bovey Tracey among those attending.

A police spokesperson said the force are 'appealing for the public’s help after a spate of suspected arson attacks in Exmouth before lives, as well as livelihoods are threatened'.

"There have been five fires over the last fortnight and on each occasion the bins of commercial premises have been targeted.

"The most recent fire occurred at around 2.20am this morning, Monday 13 July, at Exmouth Pavilion on the Esplanade. Police believe an accelerant was used.

"And at around 3am on Saturday 11 July, the bins at Budleigh Salterton Football Club were also targeted.

"On Wednesday 7 July, several thousand pounds worth of damage was caused to the Bumble and Bee Café in the Manor Gardens, Exmouth, after a fire spread to the building.

"The fires have all occurred between midnight and 5am.

"Officers will continue to conduct door-to-door enquiries in the affected areas and are urging businesses to be vigilant.

"Police would like to hear from anyone who may have any information which could assist their enquiries, including those with potentially relevant CCTV footage."

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Tim Hegarty from Exmouth CID, said: "So far, these fires have caused damage to people’s business premises, at times causing a lot of financial damage, anguish and inconvenience.

"Times are hard enough for businesses who are getting ready for what should be the tourist season – we want to find the person, or people, responsible, before a tragedy happens and lives are threatened in addition to people’s livelihoods.

"We would like to hear from people who have witnessed any suspicious activity, or have concerns about any person they may know who has, for example, come home smelling of fire, or has developed a fascination with fire or the emergency services.”

"Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101 or via email at 101@dc.police.uk quoting log number 99, 13/7/20."

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