Downley blaze wrecked business units

California Works fire

California Works fire

Police start search for evidence

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First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

TWENTY-FIVE firefighters tackled a blaze that tore through three building units and two cars in Downley on Wednesday night, in what police believe could be an arson attack.

One business owner, whose property was not damaged in the fire, said it looked as if there had been a terrorist attack.

The fire broke out in California Works near Downley Common at 11.19pm with six fire engines battling the blaze.

They removed four LPG – liquefied petroleum gas – cylinders from the site before they were caught up in the fire.

Bucks Fire and Rescue Spokesman, Fraser Pearson, said: “Prompt action by crews meant the LPG cylinders were quickly removed and the risk of explosion, adding to an already severe fire, was averted.”

Andy James, the owner of Manor Estates Groundcare Ltd which rents a unit in California Works, said he was shocked by the scene.

He said: “It looked like there had been a terrorist attack; the place was full of fire engines, police and a helicopter.

“The alarms at our depot down there woke me up and it took me seven minutes to get from my place in Hazlemere to the site.

“The fire was only really smouldering when I had got there; the fire brigade did a brilliant job in dealing with it.

“All the emergency services were really good to us and they all did a good job, the fire brigade and the police.”

Six fire engines attended the scene and firefighters used four hose reels and four sets of breathing apparatus through the night to contain the fire.

It is not yet known if any of the units affected by the blaze were actually in use, and what damage has been caused to them.

It took about two hours to control the fire and further inspections were held at the scene at 4.15am and 7.15am this morning.

From The Common, the road opposite to California Works, university student Leo Mundy watched the emergency services race to the fire.

The 18-year-old said: “I could see a little bit of a red glow, lots of smoke and emergency services vehicles, but I couldn’t really tell what was going on.

“The noise of the vehicles made us look out of the window and we saw the orange glow of the fire. We went to call the emergency services straight away but they were already there.”

Two 19-year-old men have been arrested on suspicion of arson. Both have been bailed until May 10.

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