Village pub damaged after spate of fires raises arsonist fears

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A police investigation has been started after three fires in the village of Totternhoe in the early hours of today.

The blazes left the village pub and a barn badly damaged.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue received the first call at 1.43am to tackle fires on an allotment in Church End.

Three sheds were involved and a crew from Leighton Buzzard successfully extinguished the fires and the incident closed at 2.46am.

At 2.39am Fire Control received a call about a barn fire in Stanbridge Road, Totternhoe and two crews from Toddington and Dunstable were dispatched. On the way to the barn fire, as the crews drove along Castle Road, Totternhoe, they saw that the thatch of the Cross Keys public house was alight and one of the engines stopped to deal with this incident.

The barn was 20m x 10m, containing agricultural machinery, straw and hay. The structure was 50% damaged by the fire. The incident was closed at 4.08am.

At the Cross Keys the Firefighters stripped away the thatch restricting the spread of the flames and saving the roof. The incident was closed at 4.06am.

Group Commander John Foolkes said: “This was a very busy night for us in the village but fortunately our Firefighters quickly tackled the fires. It was fortunate that the crews on their way to the barn fire spotted the fire in the thatch at the pub. Their swift actions kept the damage to a minimum; this could have easily destroyed the whole roof and possibly the building.”

A Police and Fire investigation is now underway.

If you have any information regarding these three incidents please call the Police on 101.