A fire which has left a flat and a candle shop on Hassell Street in Newcastle damaged was started deliberately Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.
"Whoever started this fire obviously didn’t have a second thought for the safety of the nearby members of the public."
Station Manager, Mick Daniels
Two crews from Newcastle were called to the fire at 9.55pm last night and used one hose reel jet to tackle the first floor fire. No one was injured.
Firefighters were at the incident for over two hours and fire investigation and scenes of crime officers returned to the scene this morning to carry out a joint investigation.
Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "Following a joint investigation we have concluded that this fire was started deliberately. Thankfully no one was in the flat at the time of the fire and everyone in the Limes Bar below was safely evacuated as a precaution prior to our arrival.
"A manager from the Limes Bar was on his way to an upstairs office last night when he smelt smoke and discovered the fire in the flat. The flat is directly above a candle shop, which is next door to the bar, and the fire has burnt through the floor of the flat, dropping debris into the shop below.
"Whoever started this fire obviously didn’t have a second thought for the safety of the nearby members of the public; it was an incredibly stupid and irresponsible thing to do. It was lucky that a member of staff smelt the smoke when they did so the fire was unable to progress into something more severe and anyone nearby was able to get to a safe place quickly."
The incident has now been left with the police who will continue with their inquiries and anyone with any information about the fire is urged to contact Staffordshire Police quoting incident number 830 on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.