BREAKING NEWS: Rugby police believe fire and explosion at All in One shop in Freemantle Road, Bilton, was arson

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OFFICERS are appealing for witnesses to a suspicious fire at the All in One shop in Bilton in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday).

The fire was contained in 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.

Police believe the fire was started deliberately and are appealing for 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 to contact them as soon as possible by calling 101.

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.

The Fire Emergency Support Vehicle that is run by the Red Cross provided blankets and refreshments to the evacuated residents who were offered emergency accommodation for the night.

Any witnesses to the cause of the fire are please asked to contact DC 1720 Sarah Clapham at Rugby Police Station on ext 6139 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.