Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 09:21 UK

Pasty factory used as fire refuge

Callington fire
One house was gutted and another damaged by the blaze

More than 20 people took refuge in a pasty factory in a Cornish town after a fire, believed to be suspicious, broke out at a newly built house.

Forty firefighters were called to the blaze on Launceston Road in Callington at 0340 BST after the fire was spotted in the three-storey property.

Residents of neighbouring homes sheltered in a nearby Ginster's factory while the fire was extinguished.

Police want to identify a man seen acting suspiciously at the scene.

Cheryl Grundy, who lives opposite the scene of the fire, said: "It was raining sparks all over our house and others.

"It was quite hazardous running out to the car with all the sparks.

"I had a six-year-old and a 16-year-old with me. It was quite scary."

It was raining sparks all over our house
Cheryl Grundy, local resident

Mrs Grundy said she and her neighbours spent about an hour sheltering in the pasty factory before they were allowed back into their homes.

"We were all worried what was happening to them," she added.

She said the timber house at the centre of the fire was "completely gutted" and a second new house next to it was damaged.

The buildings, which were unoccupied, are currently considered unsafe and the road remains closed.

Devon and Cornwall Police are seeking a man seen wearing a beige top, possibly a hoodie.

He was spotted by cleaners at Callington Community College, opposite the scene of the fire, acting in a suspicious manner.

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