Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Fire destroys 19th Century church in Cambridgeshire

St Mary's Church in Westry
Flames were seen coming out of both sides of St Mary's church

A fire which destroyed a church in the fenland area of Cambridgeshire is being treated as suspicious.

The fire broke out mid-morning at the 19th Century church of St Mary's at Westry on the outskirts of March.

Only the external brickwork remains and the building has been deemed structurally unsound.

Jan French, a councillor on Fenland District Council who lives nearby, said she had seen the flames shooting from both sides of the building.

Fire crews were called in from March, Chatteris, Huntingdon and Wisbech with a turntable from Peterborough.

Police sealed off the main A141 road shortly after firefighters arrived at 1030 GMT to tackle the blaze.

Up to 30 firefighters remained at the scene until at least 1300 GMT to ensure there were no hot spots.

Callum Faint, from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said an investigation by fire officers and Cambridgeshire police crime scene investigators was under way.

"The fire is being treated as suspicious," he said.

He urged anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area of the church, between Sunday night and Monday morning, to contact Det Con Simon Rust at Wisbech CID.

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About 30 firefighters tackled the fire that engulfed St Mary's Church in Westry



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