Suspected arson attack at town’s furniture bank

A fire engine at Preen CIC
A fire engine at Preen CIC

Firefighters battled a blaze at a furniture bank for more than an hour after a suspected arson attack.

Two fire crews from Biggleswade and one from Sandy were called to the Preen CIC Furniture Bank in Biggleswade shortly after 1.15am on Sunday (March 9).

Flames and smoke spread quickly after paperwork in the basement of the Shortmead Street building caught fire.

Station Commander Martin Statham said: “The fire was already well-established when crews first arrived.

“As a result there were flames, intense heat and thick smoke in the basement.

“This was due to a large volume of highly combustible material such as paperwork being on fire.”

He added: “Firefighters wore breathing apparatus to fight the fire in the basement, and they used a jet and a covering jet to contain the fire, managing to prevent it spreading.

“Fans were then used to clear the smoke.”

“The crews did an excellent job in putting out the fire in the basement and stopping it from spreading to the warehouse nearby. The building was declared safe at 3.03am.”

Preen CIC director Kathy Lewis said: “The fire service and the police were fabulous in their response and we can only say a big ‘thank you.’

“The fire service stopped the fire spreading and then helped to clear the smoke from the shop and checked the rest of the premises.”

Kathy also thanked the 999 caller who saw smoke coming from the building.

A Beds Police spokesman confirmed that the fire is being treated as suspicious. Anyone with information should contact 101.