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Arson probe after New Year’s Day blaze at Cambridgeshire ex-servicemen’s club

The club says it is ‘proud home of Cambridgeshire County Pool Team’

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They toasted in the New Year, and when the last worker locked up at 2am “everything was good- it was such a great night” but just over two hours later a suspected arsonist set it alight. 

At 4.23am on New Year’s Day more than 20 firefighters were called to the Wisbech & District Ex-Services Club in Alexandra Road, Wisbech, to extinguish the blaze.

Crews from Wisbech and March along with crews from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and arrived “to find a fire on the ground floor of a building, with flames and smoke clearly visible”.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue added: “Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished the fire using hose reels and a jet. No casualties were involved.

“The crews initially left the scene and returned to their stations by 7am.

“An investigation is being carried out to determine the cause of the fire.”

One club official said: “The club will be closed for the foreseeable future due to someone setting fire to the club.”

More than 20 firefighters, including crews from Wisbech and March along with crews from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, dealt with the suspected arson attack at Wisbech ex-servicemen’s club. Archive image of the club interior.

More than 20 firefighters, including crews from Wisbech and March along with crews from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, dealt with the suspected arson attack at Wisbech ex-servicemen’s club. Archive image of the club exterior.

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The suspected arson attack has angered many club members.

“So sad to hear this after we all had such a good time seeing the New Year in, some sick people about,” said one post to the club’s Facebook page.

The club prides itself on offering “a welcoming family friendly environment, remembering our military heroes past and present,” and also is home to Wisbech Pool League.

Tom Read from the league says the season is coming to an end and he is busy making alternative arrangements.

Mr Read, also a Wisbech town councillor, said the club “which was victim to an arson attack in the early hours of this morning” would be closed for a few weeks.

The club says it is “proud home of Cambridgeshire County Pool Team, a number of local league Pool, Snooker and Dart teams” and also hosts regular pool tournaments.

The club has a large bar area and games room with 2 Snooker Tables, 6 Pool Tables and Darts.

 

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