Firm's boss so grateful to 999 caller

Firefighters narrowly saved a peaceful market town from being ravaged by fire after arsonists torched a family business.

Firefighters narrowly saved a peaceful market town from being ravaged by fire after arsonists torched a family business.

Emergency services were called to Fish Hill in Holt when lighted paper was shoved through the letterbox of an insurance company.

The fire caught hold on post on the floor and quickly spread with the intensity of the blaze melting electrical wires and blistering paint.

Luckily the burglar alarm sounded as the searing heat destroyed it, and the fire was seconds away from reaching a sack of paper for recycling, causing an anonymous caller to dial for help.

David Moore, owner of the damaged business, said: "The firemen told me that if they hadn't got here when they did the fire would've ignited the bag and then it would have spread to all the neighbouring buildings, some of which are flats, and from then on who knows.

"We're just lucky that didn't happen, it could have been a disaster and people would have been seriously hurt.

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"I am very grateful to whoever dialled 999 without them it could have been a lot worse. But because they wouldn't give their name we don't know whether it was someone who did it who didn't realise the severity of their actions or just a bystander."

Mr Moore was at relaxing at home on Saturday evening when neighbours told him fire engines were outside his office DW Moore and Co.

He said: "We rushed over there and it looks a lot better now than it did then, some of us came in on Sunday and started cleaning up but even so it's still a state.

"Some things have melted into the floor, there's soot absolutely everywhere but you get used to the taste after a while.

"We're still carrying on though, our clients stay open if it happened to them and we shall do the same, as is the solicitors upstairs. We won't let this affect us."

Mr Moore believes the arsonists targeted his shop because it is cloaked in darkness at night making it easier for people to remain unseen.

He said: "Because it's tucked away, no-one can see anything down there making it a perfect place to do this sort of thing.

"I wanted to put a light in a few years ago but we can't because it's a listed building."

The attack is the latest in series of troubles Holt has had. In the last few months other shop owners in Fish Hill have campaigned for CCTV in the town after feeling intimidated by youngsters loitering around the area.

Mr Moore said: "Things are escalating and we need to start doing something about it. Hopefully these people will be caught and taught a lesson to prevent them being encouraged by the success of this and trying to carry out another one."

The arson attack took place on Saturday October 21 between 8.30pm and 8.50pm and anyone with information should contact PC John Coles, Holt police station on 0845 4564567 or anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.