Man arrested on suspicion of arson after blaze inside Preston's tallest tower block

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A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at Preston's tallest tower block.

Hundreds of residents had to be evacuated from the 18-storey block of flats in the town centre around 3.30am on Friday November 16.

The fire broke out at one of the giant Sandown Court tower blocks on Avenham Lane, the two tallest residential towers in the city.

A man was still inside the burning flat when fire crews arrived and had to be rescued by firefighters who broke down his door to gain entry.

READ MORE: Man rescued from blaze inside Preston's tallest tower block

Fire crews believed the cause of the fire to be suspicious and reported their concerns to Lancashire Police.

Police confirmed that a 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Five fire crews were deployed to the high-rise fire, which was on the 9th floor of the 18-storey building. Crews from Preston, Bamber Bridge and Penwortham equipped with breathing apparatus rescued the man from his flat and brought the fire under control using jets and an hydraulic aerial ladder to reach the high-rise flat.

Fire officers said the man was conscious and breathing, but was suffering the effects of severe smoke inhalation. Paramedics treated him at the scene before rushing him to Preston Royal Hospital for further treatment.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We were called at 03:32 hours on Friday 16th November to reports of a fire at an address on Avenham Lane, Preston.

“The building was evacuated while Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service extinguished the fire.

“It is being treated as suspicious at this time.

“A 26-year-old man from Preston has been arrested on suspicion of arson. He is currently in police custody.”