Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 16:59 UK
Wisbech suffers from fire spate

Wisbech's historic North Brink has been ravaged by numerous fires

Five fires in six weeks have left the Cambridgeshire town of Wisbech with lots of questions and too few answers.

Who is causing them, why are they happening and will there be another?

The Georgian North Brink area has borne the brunt of the series of blazes which began when Constantine House in Nene Quay was destroyed on 27 March 2010.

Saturday evening saw one building set alight for the second time in two weeks while the Phoenix Hotel and Flower Pot pub have also suffered from fires.

28 March, Constantine House, Nene Quay
27 April, North Brink property
29 April, Phoenix Hotel, North Brink
7 May, Flower Pot pub, Elm road
8 May, North Brink property

Police are refusing to rule out arson in any of the cases. Two boys, aged 11 and 12, were arrested in connection with the Flower Pot pub incident and have been bailed until June 2010.

The events have left locals nervous about what could happen to the town and its historic buildings.


David Oliver, leader of Wisbech Town Council told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "Generally people are concerned and quite horrified about what's actually happened.

"We're concerned that any empty buildings could be targeted at any other point."

He added: "The feeling in the town is there's a possibility that it could be someone doing all of them or people copycatting."

Wisbech is renowned for its 18th century buildings and is often used to film period dramas, such as the BBC's David Copperfield and the Peter O'Toole film Dean Spanley.

National Trust property Peckover House is still welcoming large numbers of visitors and Mr Oliver is adamant the town is upbeat.

He said: "Anyone who's involved with tourism or the town itself are working as hard as possible to promote Wisbech and its good points."

Phoenix Hotel after fire in Wisbech
The Phoenix Hotel will need a brand new facia

Meanwhile BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's reporter Andy Gall attempted to gauge the mood among local people with little success.

He said: "Off air they were saying that their views wouldn't be suitable for broadcast.

"Nobody wanted to go on air and say what they thought about anything. People are very cagey and it's a strange atmosphere."

The Flower Pot will be demolished while Constantine House and the Phoenix Hotel have both been gutted and destroyed by the flames.

Police investigate arson attacks
09 May 10 |  Cambridgeshire
Town 'devastated' by hotel fire
30 Apr 10 |  Cambridgeshire
Demolition work at fire-hit hotel
29 Apr 10 |  Cambridgeshire

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific