Bilton shop arsonist “may have suffered burns”, say police

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THE arsonist who torched the All in One shop in Blackwood Avenue in the early hours of Thursday July 5 may have burned himself or his clothing whilst setting fire to the shop, police believe.

Officers are asking anyone who has encountered a person suffering from burns to themselves or their clothing since the fire to please contact the Control Room as soon as possible by calling 101. DC 1720 Sarah Clapham, who is leading the investigation, said: “As well as assisting with the investigation, we are very concerned for the welfare of the person involved due to the burns they may have suffered.”

“We would also like to hear from any witnesses who saw anyone in the area of the shop between 10.30pm on Wednesday 4 July and 12.30am on Thursday 5 July as they may hold important information that could help us identify who started the fire.”

Fortunately, the fire was restricted to the shop on the ground floor and ten people who were rescued by Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service from flats above the premises were declared fit and well with no injuries after paramedics checked them over.

The initial fire is believed to have led to significant structural damage to the building consistent with a large gas explosion and a structural engineer was called to assess the integrity of the building. Any witnesses to the cause of the fire are please asked to contact DC 1720 Sarah Clapham at Rugby Police Station on 01926 415000 ext 6139, 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.