Massive fire at Preston car showroom 'was arson' say police as criminal probe launched

A massive fire in Preston that caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage and saw neighbouring homes evacuated was started deliberately, police believe.

Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 6:32 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:56 pm
The showroom at Frank Street was completely destroyed

As firefighters continue to make the gutted car showroom on Frank Street safe, police have launched a criminal investigation into the blaze.

The fire broke out at about 9pm on Friday, and at its peak 100 firefighters were at the scene battling the blaze.

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See inside the car showroom in Preston gutted by last night's massive blaze

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The showroom at Frank Street was completely destroyed

Explosions were heard and neighbouring homes and a mosque had to be evacuated because of fears over toxic smoke.

Now police say they believe the fire was started deliberately.

Officers are asking anyone who may have any mobile phone footage of the incident to make contact.

DC Andy Gill from Preston CID said: “This was a huge fire which has left two businesses devastated just before Christmas. We are treating the fire as arson and need anyone who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspicious in the area at the time to come forward.

“If you recorded the fire on your phone, we would like to speak to you and review the footage as it could be vital to our investigation.”

DC Gill added that the fire caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage to the buildings, which have been completely destroyed. One hundred and fifty cars were also damaged.