Lowestoft pub blaze being treated as arson

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing after firefighters tackled the second blaze to have broken out within the space of five days at a Lowestoft pub and hotel.

Police are treating the latest blaze at the Sun Rise Inn as arson after more than 30 firefighters were involved at the height of yesterday's (Friday) fire.

The fire broke out in the roof of the three-storey building in Corton Road at about 6.15am yesterday and it led to the partial collapse of the roof with a neighbouring hotel evacuated as a precaution.

Four fire crews from Lowestoft, the hydraulic platform and support pump from Great Yarmouth, and the command support vehicle from Beccles were all in attendance at the 12-bedroom hotel, pub and restaurant, with the aerial appliance used to 'strip tiles' as the blaze was fought 'externally.'

Paul Field, station manager, said: 'On arrival the fire was well developed in the roof area. It is too early to say at this time the area where the fire may have started, as there has been a partial collapse of the roof and it is too dangerous to deal with internally, so we are fighting the fire externally.'

Station manager Field added that 'there wasn't anyone inside the building' on this occasion. 'We did have a fire here previously, but it is too early to say the cause and what happened - there will be a full investigation,' he added.

The crews remained at the scene 'for some considerable time' due to the roof collapse, and fire investigators were also in attendance. Police were also called out to deal with the early morning rush-hour traffic, as Corton Road was closed at the junction of Yarmouth Road and Lyndhurst Road.

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'Detectives are treating this fire as arson and investigations continue,' a police spokesman said. 'If anyone saw anything in the area in the early hours, we would like them to come forward.'

The fire is the second at the property this week, after crews spent about two hours putting out a blaze in a first floor flat at the hotel last Sunday. The cause of this blaze was not believed to be suspicious and is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault, with police treating this first incident as a burglary.

• Infomation should be directed to Lowestoft CID on 01986 835300.