South East Wales

Billybanks flats blaze in Penarth 'was arson'

The blaze at housing estate
Image caption The blaze at the unoccupied housing estate in Penarth was started deliberately, say fire chiefs

A large fire at a derelict housing estate in the Vale of Glamorgan was started deliberately, according to fire chiefs.

Police have appealed for witnesses after 20 firefighters were called to the Billybanks or Penarth Heights estate in Penarth on Wednesday.

The blaze broke out in flats on third and fourth floor buildings.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the area has since been closed off.

The incident started at 1624 BST on Wednesday.

Crews from Penarth, Cardiff Central, Barry and Caerphilly used two water bowsers and a hydraulic platform to tackle the blaze.

South Wales Fire and Rescue were called to a blaze at the same flats last September.

The site had remained derelict for years and had become a target for vandals and squatters.

A new housing development is set to replace the existing homes by 2017.

Anyone with any information or who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously before the fire broke out is asked to contact Sgt Paul Francis of South Wales Police at Penarth police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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