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Ski school blaze is suspected arson

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 31, 2013

  • The building in Rock was destroyed after the arson attack.

  • FIRE RUINED: The shell of the building after the fire.

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POLICE are treating a blaze that destroyed a water sports building at Rock as arson

More than 40 firefighters from Wadebridge, Delabole, Bodmin and St Austell tackled the blaze at the Camel Ski School, which began in the early hours of Thursday.

The wooden building – which was used to store sailing equipment, and had changing rooms and two receptions, was part of the Camel School of Sailing and Camel Ski School.

The complex is run by Charlie Toogood, who was hailed a hero after he leapt on board a runaway speedboat, which killed BSkyB executive Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter Emily in May.

Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed they are treating the attack on the building as arson.

Detective Inspector Tony Blatchford said: "The building has been severely damaged. Thankfully there was no one inside at the time otherwise we could have been dealing with an even more tragic outcome."

The fire was so extensive at one point that firefighters had to close nearby Rock Road.

Group fire officer Mark Hewitt said: "We have protected and saved some of the local businesses and been able to salvage some of their equipment. The crews responded very quickly and worked hard to save equipment within the two businesses."

Mr Toogood was putting on a brave face despite the extensive damage and said the ski school was still operating hours after the fire.

"As far as we are concerned it's business as usual," he said.

"We are still up and running and taking bookings for sailing and water sports.

"We are using temporary facilities for changing rooms and everyone has done a fantastic job in doing the best we can to continue operating.

"We don't know as yet what caused the fire. The building looks almost derelict but we are open,'' he said.

Police have appealed for witnesses to call them on 101, quoting log 84 of 25/07/13, or Crimsteoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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