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Fire crews battle major 'suspected arson' at disused holiday park

PUBLISHED: 09:13 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 28 August 2019

The Queen Victoria Public House burst into flames in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Matthew Nixon

The Queen Victoria Public House burst into flames in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Matthew Nixon

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Firefighters on the coast have tackled another blaze at the former Pontins site - the second in just a week.

The Queen Victoria Public House burst into flames in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Matthew NixonThe Queen Victoria Public House burst into flames in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Five crews attended the scene of the old holiday park, on Beach Road in Hemsby, having been called at 4.40am on Wednesday, August 28.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were on on the scene for two and a half hours, leaving at approximately 7.15am.

Norfolk Constabularay confirmed they were called to the scene by the fire service at 4.45am, and said the incident was being treated as a suspected arson.

Norfolk Fire and Resuce Service left the site at around 7.15 am. Photo: Matthew NixonNorfolk Fire and Resuce Service left the site at around 7.15 am. Photo: Matthew Nixon

It is the second fire in less than a week at the disused site, when six fire crews were called after a passerby reported seeing flames.

The fire service put out a fire which had engulfed the site's Queen Victoria pub, which sits next to the last building to go up in flames.

Appliances returned later the same day to ensure there were no 'hot spots' which may cause the building to reignite.

The inside of the Queen Victoria Public House was charred. Photo: Matthew NixonThe inside of the Queen Victoria Public House was charred. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Site security spent the morning fixing breaches in the surrounding fences where it was suspected people had entered the site, and the Environment Agency also attended the scene to inspect the site. A spokesperson said: "We were satisfied all water runoff had been contained and there was no threat to the environment."

The latest fire marks the 16th the fire service has been called to at the site in the last five years.

The most serious was in August last year, when 90 firefighters battled a blaze at the main clubhouse.

Police remained on site to investigate a suspected arson. Photo: Matthew NixonPolice remained on site to investigate a suspected arson. Photo: Matthew Nixon

A single, basic call-out for the fire service costs around £300, meaning the total cost to the taxpayer is likely to run into thousands.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: "The people of Hemsby are understandably frustrated. I share that frustration. The owners have been letting Hemsby down for many years. The sooner they end their involvement in this site the better."

Earlier this year, Great Yarmouth Borough Council approved plans to build almost 200 homes on the site, despite objections that the site should remain for holiday use.

Northern Trust, site owners, have been contacted for comment.

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