Thatched roof fire in Codicote treated as arson
- Credit: Sean Comerford
A fire in Codicote which saw one of the largest thatched roofs in the UK go up in flames is being treated as arson, police have confirmed today.
Eleven crews - from Hatfield, Hertford, Hitchin, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City - attended after a call to Node Court in Drivers End Lane at just after midnight on Friday. It was quickly established that the Grade II-listed building was derelict, and nobody was inside.
By 1am the entire roof - which has previously been described by police as one of the largest thatched roofs in the UK - was alight, with 50 per cent of the two-storey property also ablaze.
At 2.50am there was a partial collapse so a safety area was extended, but the operation was scaled down at 4.30am and crews were damping down by 6.20am.
Police, who also attended the scene, have now confirmed the fire is being treated as deliberate.
A spokesman for the Herts force said: "Once the building was safe to enter investigations were carried out and it is believed the fire was started intentionally.
"If you have information to assist the investigation this can be reported online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 41/93124/19.
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"Alternatively, you can stay 100 per cent anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org."
It is not the first time arson has been suspected, with Joshua Bozier - from Kimpton, and later Whitwell - convicted of the offence after torching a vehicle in a car park outside the historic building which spread to the thatched roof and caused an estimated £3.5 million worth of
damage in July 2015.