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Update: Police investigations continue after “suspicious” Marsh Barton car showroom fire

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

  • The Fire service has confirmed that the blaze at Hendy car supermarket on Marsh Barton Industrial Estate is being treated as “suspicious”

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Investigations are continuing this afternoon after a fire that badly damaged an Exeter Car Supermarket.

The Fire service has confirmed that the blaze is being treated as “suspicious”.

Fire crews were called to Hendy car supermarket on Marsh Barton Industrial Estate at 5:30am today.

The commercial building measuring thirty five metres by twenty five metres was found well alight.

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On arrival firefighters found smoke coming from the commercial building, which measures 20 metres by 10 metres, and was well alight.

Group Commander Jim Holgate, who led the operation, said the building was well alight when the first crews from Exeter and Topsham arrived with flames and smoke coming from the showroom and offices.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were able to make rapid progress in fighting the blaze, with water drawn from a hydrant opposite on Marsh Barton Road.

A number of cars were severely damaged by the fire . “Overall the building was 100 per cent smoke damaged with around 30 per cent fire damage.”

Fire investigation officers were sifting through the debris seeking a possible cause for the fire and police were also make inquiries.

Fire crews initially used two breathing apparatus wearers, one hose reel jet and one main jet and a positive pressure ventilation fan and requested further appliances to attend.

Five fire appliances, along with an incident commander vehicle and a support appliance, are at the scene.

At 7am fire crews were exposing fascia boards on the property to eliminate the spread of the fire.

Fire investigation officer are looking through the fire damaged building today trying to figure out the cause.

No-one was hurt on the blaze and the road has now reopened.

A representative of Devon and Somerset Fire Service said: “This was a fire involving a car supermarket measuring thirty five metres by twenty five metres. This was a fire within a two storey building used as a showroom and offices at the rear of the property.

“Thirty percent of the building was damaged by fire and the remainder of the property was damaged by smoke. The fire was extinguished by fire crews using six breathing apparatus wearers, two hose reel jets, two main jets, two positive pressure ventilation fans and small tools.”

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