A man will appear at crown court charged with arson with intent to endanger life, arson and possession of an offensive weapon following two fires in Great Yarmouth on Sunday.

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Edward MacDonald, 46, of no fixed abode, was committed to appear at Norwich Crown Court on October 2 of this year when he appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court this morning.

The charges relate to a fire at the Crown Stores shop on Crown Road - a part of the Premier Stores chain of convenience stores - and another in some shrubbery in Marine Parade on Sunday.

MacDonald was arrested in Yarmouth shortly after the fires.

He was interviewed by detectives at Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre before being charged with the offences relating to the fires and with possession of a claw hammer, three knives, a chisel and a half pair of scissors.

Both fires took place on Sunday evening, with police and a fire crew from Yarmouth rushing to Crown Stores at 9.10pm, to a report of a rubbish fire which had spread to the building.

They used hose reel jets to put it out and a positive pressure fan to remove smoke from the shop and flat.

Meanwhile, two crews from Yarmouth also responded to reports of a building fire in Marine Parade. They found it was in some shrubbery, but was in danger of spreading to a wooden structure, a police spokesman said.

On Tuesday, fire damage was clearly visible on the door to the flat on Crown Road, at the side of the shop.

Smoke has damaged the flat quite heavily, according to the tenant - who does not wish to be named - and the smell of smoke still lingers strongly in the shop below.

The manageress and landlady, who also runs the Roundabout Stores on St Peters Road, was unavailable for comment today.

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