Great Britain

Man, 21, arrested after woman killed and eight people injured in suspected arson attack at block of flats

TOWER INFERNO

A MAN has been arrested after a woman was killed and eight others hurt in a suspected arson attack at a block of flats this morning.

The blaze erupted in a Wiltshire building just after 1am, and is being treated as suspicious.

Fire crews raced to the apartment block in Devizes along and pulled out several injured people.

It is thought to have started deliberately in a communal area.

Cops said a woman, aged in her 50s, died after she was taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon suffering from smoke inhalation.

Eight other people were injured in the fire.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder this evening.

Det Chief Insp Darren Hannant said: "Firstly, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the woman who has tragically died following this fire.

"The investigation is now being led by MCIT, with the assistance of local community officers and CID.

"We have already spoken to a number of local residents and we continue to urge anyone who may have information in relation to any suspicious activity in the area prior to 1am to contact us on 101 if they have not already done so."

The fire was extinguished by 2.25am and a joint investigation by police and fire services into the cause of the blaze is under way.

Det Insp Helen Jacobs, of Wiltshire Police, earlier said: "Although we are very much at the early stage of our investigation, we are treating this incident as arson and we will be conducting multiple inquiries today to identify the exact circumstances."

Wiltshire Police officers joined 35 firefighters fighting the blaze, as well as the ambulance service.

Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the Waiblingen Way area of Devizes before 1am is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101, quoting log 13 of December 17.