Fire destroys Polish food shop in Blackburn

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Fire on King Street, Blackburn
Image caption,
An investigation into the cause of the fire has started

A 30-year-old man suspected of starting a large fire at a shop in Blackburn has been detained under the mental health act, police have said.

Six engines and an aerial platform were needed to bring the fire at the Polish grocers on King Street under control.

The fire caused the interior floors of the shop to collapse and damage to nearby terraced properties.

Lancashire Police later arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

A joint police and fire investigation into the cause of the fire, which broke out at about 0930 BST, is under way.

Fire 'deliberate'

Det Insp Mark Winstanley said: "We have been conducting enquiries into this matter along with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service throughout the day and as a result we believe the fire was started deliberately.

"Thankfully nobody was seriously injured during the incident."

Whalley Banks, where the shop is located, was closed throughout the day while investigations were carried out.

One man was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital as a precaution and is expected to be discharged soon. He did not suffer any serious injuries.

Jan Tomkins, who was working at the florist next door when the fire started, said she heard a "loud explosion".

Ms Tomkins said: "We thought it was a hurricane and when we went outside the shop the whole shop had fallen out and the flames went up in about three minutes."

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