Berkshire

Arrest after fire at Grade-II listed Wokingham building

The back of The Elms building which has been on fire.
Image caption Firefighters and police are still at The Elms building carrying out investigations

A 41-year-old man has been arrested following a fire at a Grade-II listed building in Berkshire.

More than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze in Broad Street in Wokingham after being called out in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police said the fire was being treated as suspicious but it was too early to confirm if it was arson.

Half of the roof of The Elms building, which is centuries old, was destroyed and the rest of it severely damaged.

The front of the building dates back 200 years and the interior is believed to contain Tudor beams.

The man arrested has been released on bail until 5 October.

Removed chimney

Broad Street remained closed during Wednesday while emergency services dealt with the aftermath of the blaze.

Firefighters removed a chimney on the roof in order to enter the building and make it structurally safe.

An investigation by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police is under way to find out what caused of the fire.

Det Sgt Carl Bradford said: "At this stage it is too early to say that this was definitely arson as we are not currently settled on what caused the fire.

"However, we are investigating it as a suspicious fire and would like to trace any witnesses.

"I would appeal for anyone who was in the town centre after midnight on Wednesday or anyone with any knowledge about the fire to contact police.

"This fire caused substantial damage to the building and had a significant impact on the local community due to the road closures that were in place while it was put out."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites