Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Industrial unit fire 'was arson'

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in Worthing
The fire at the industrial unit broke out just before 0200 GMT on Thursday

A fire at an industrial unit in West Sussex which forced emergency services to evacuate 250 homes was started deliberately, police have said.

A 200m (650ft) cordon was put in place around Friar Walk, Worthing, and a railway line was closed after the fire broke out early on Thursday morning.

Dozens of residents were unable to go home until Friday afternoon amid fears acetylene cylinders might explode.

Police said that after an investigation the fire was being treated as arson.

A spokeswoman said the blaze caused extensive damage to the industrial unit on the Tarring estate used as a vehicle recovery business.

It also caused considerable disruption to road and rail users as well as the residents.

Police have appealed for anyone with information that will assist the investigation to come forward.

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