Stevenage Old Town fire: Police hunt youths in CCTV images as blaze now treated as arson

PUBLISHED: 13:25 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 01 December 2017

Police want to speak to three youths in connection with the Old Town blaze. Picture: Herts Police.

Police want to speak to three youths in connection with the Old Town blaze. Picture: Herts Police.

Archant

A fire in Stevenage's Old Town which broke out on a busy Friday evening is now being treated as arson - and police have today issued three CCTV images of people they want to talk to.

Police want to speak to three youths in connection with the Old Town blaze. Picture: Herts Police.Police want to speak to three youths in connection with the Old Town blaze. Picture: Herts Police.

The fire in a Middle Row bin store on Friday, November 10, threatened to prevent residents escaping from nearby properties.

Three volunteer special constables – Adam Williams, Brian Robertson and Christopher Jackson – and have-a-go-hero Christopher Davis had to help two women escape from their flat after flames threatened to block the front door.

At the time the fire service said the blaze was not thought to be suspicious, but the rumour mill on the evening suggested it was deliberate.

Now police in Stevenage have issued these CCTV images of three people they would like to speak to in connection with the blaze.

Officers want to talk to those pictured as it is believed they were in the area at the time and may have information that could help the enquiry.

Investigating officer DC Neil Davies said: “We are very keen to trace those responsible as setting fire to rubbish is not only extremely dangerous, but ties up emergency resources unnecessarily.”

Anyone with information should contact Herts police on 101, quoting crime reference E1/17/9240, or report information online at herts.police.uk/report.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details will be taken.

The actions of the three special constables have since been commended.

Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “The brave actions of these volunteer officers, whose quick response saved lives, is a testament to their dedication and training.

“Special constables echo the original principle of policing – the police are the public and the public are the police.

“Our police service only succeeds with the support of the public. I want to thank SCs Williams, Robertson and Jackson for helping to keep our communities safe.”

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls, who leads local policing for Herts police, added: “I highly commend these special constables for their actions.

“They were out on proactive patrol in the local area when they received a call for assistance – and because they were so close, they were first to respond at the scene and took immediate action to ensure people were brought to safety.”

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