Northampton

Four people held after Corby multi-storey car park fire

Willow Place Shopping Centre car park
Image caption The multi-storey car park at Willow Place Shopping Centre has been closed following the fire

Four people have been arrested in connection with a fire at a multi-storey car park in Northamptonshire.

The blaze broke out at Willow Place Shopping Centre in Corby on Tuesday evening.

Two boys, aged 14 and 17, and two men, aged 19 and 20, have been arrested on suspicion of arson. They remain in police custody.

The car park is closed, along with four stores, although the shopping centre is open.

Northamptonshire Police said other people may have been involved, although the cause of the fire is still to be established.

Image copyright R Cunningham
Image caption The fire has caused severe damage to the car park

Det Ch Insp Nick Lyall said the "large fire caused significant damage to the car park and nearby shops".

The four people were arrested on Tuesday evening, but police want to speak to anyone who may have seen a group of young people running away from the scene just after 18:00 GMT.

"We would also like to speak to anyone who lives with anyone who returned home last night smelling of smoke and acting suspiciously," Mr Lyall said.

Six fire engines and more than 30 firefighters attended.

Corby town centre director Dan Pickard said the car park would be shut for the "foreseeable future".

He added that Evans, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins and River Island would be closed on New Year's Eve due to heat and water damage.

Image caption Shops in Willow Place Shopping Centre have been closed due to smoke damage

Willow Place Shopping Centre is open, with visitors advised to park at the Cube, although some smaller retailers have also closed for the day.

Manager of Tresspass Gemma Brierley said the fire had been an "inconvenience" and her shop had been closed all morning for cleaning.

She said: "We are not sure what is damaged and what is not. We are trying to sort through what we can actually sell."

It took two hours to put out the blaze and the nearby Chandos House flats were evacuated until about 22:30 GMT.

One person needed medical treatment for the effects of breathing in smoke.

Anne Street remains closed while the investigation takes place.

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