Two men arrested after a fire destroyed a bike shop and damaged two neighbouring buildings in Bury St Edmunds have been released from custody pending further enquiries.
About 60 firefighters battled flames which ripped through Cycle King, on Angel Hill, last night and fought to stop the blaze from spreading to The One Bull pub and Francela restaurant, which suffered some ‘slight fire damage’.
A 22-year-old man, from Stowmarket, and a 23-year-old man, from the Bury St Edmunds area, were arrested on suspicion of arson and, after receiving hospital treatment for the effects of breathing in smoke, were taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
They have now been released under investigation.
Firefighters have been working with police today to investigate the cause of the fire.
Angel Hill remains closed to westbound traffic, affecting motorists travelling from Eastgate Street, as fire crews assess the structural safety of the building.
It is expected to fully reopen around lunchtime tomorrow (Sunday, October 1). However, it is open to pedestrians.
In an interview with the Bury Free Press this morning, Ken Williamson, area commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue, said: “We were faced with a major fire within the centre of Bury and our main aim was to bring that fire under control but because of the historic nature of the buildings either side, particularly The One Bull pub, our aim was to stop it spreading into those buildings and contain the fire.”
He said fire crews were called just after 5pm and were faced with a ‘rapidly developing fire’ in the store room at the back of the shop which had spread to the roof space.
Twelve fire engines as well as an aerial appliance attended and they managed to create a ‘fire break’ on The One Bull and Francela by dampening down the walls of the buildings.
Mr Williamson said: “There’s been some slight fire damage into those buildings but that’s where fire crews managed to hold the fire back.
“Cycle King itself has been pretty much destroyed by fire.”
The fire was brought under control by about 7pm and crews remained on scene over night to dampen it down.
Mr Williamson added: “At this stage we don’t know the cause but we’re working with our police colleagues today to carry out a full and detailed investigation.”
In a post on the Cycle King website last night, Darren Hunt, the group retail managing director of Cycle King, said: “Everyone here at Cycle King are both shocked and saddened to report that a fire broke out on Friday evening at our Bury St Edmunds store.
“Most importantly, we can confirm that no-one has been injured and we would like to thank the police and fire services for their amazing response.
“Customers can contact both our Cambridge and Colchester stores where our local staff will be based while we make plans to reopen in Bury as soon as possible.
In a further statement this afternoon, Cycle King said an assessment of the building was being carried out and the structure was being made ‘safe and secure’.
The One Bull tweeted: “Thanks so much to all of the amazing emergency services who saved our pub yesterday and the incredible support from the Bury community.
“Our home and the pub are damaged but everyone is safe and well. We will be back soon. Thank you for your concern and support.”
The One Bull building dates back to the 16th century.
In a post on Facebook, Francela restaurant said they did not know how long it would take to repair the damage and reopen.
They added: “We hope to see you all soon again, thank you for your support.”
Francela is part of Crescent House, which was built in the early 19th century.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference CAD 332 of September 29.