Police close arson probe into fire which tore through derelict care home

Drone footage of a fire at the former Abbeville Lodge in Great Yarmouth captured by Oliver Bolton

Drone footage of a fire at the former Abbeville Lodge in Great Yarmouth captured by Oliver Bolton - Credit: Oliver Bolton

A police investigation into a fire that tore through a former care home in Great Yarmouth has been closed - less than 24 hours after the blaze.

Firefighters battling a blaze at the former Abbeville Lodge in Great Yarmouth. Picture: David Chal

Firefighters battling a blaze at the former Abbeville Lodge in Great Yarmouth. Picture: David Chal - Credit: David Chal

On Tuesday evening, police and firefighters were called to the derelict Abbeville Lodge care home in the town, after the large fire broke out at the site.

Eight crews of firefighters battled through the night to tackle the blaze, spending more than 12 hours at the scene, with police launching an investigation into the circumstances around it.

However, a spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary has now confirmed that this investigation has been closed after all available lines of enquiry were exhausted.

A spokesman said: “Norfolk police was called to Abbeville Lodge in Acle New Road in Great Yarmouth at 6.40pm following reports of a fire.

A sign for the former Abbeville Lodge care home in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell

A sign for the former Abbeville Lodge care home in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2011


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“Officers were treating the fire as arson but following an investigation all lines of enquiry were exhausted and this investigation has since been closed.

“If any further information becomes available, however, this will be reviewed.”

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The blaze saw crews of firefighters from across the county battle the flames, with an aerial platform used as part or the operation and crews from Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Carrow, Martham, Acle, Wymondham, Loddon and Carrow all in attendance.

The flames were brought under control overnight, but it was not until around 6.30am that the last crews were able to leave the scene, with investigations into its cause continuing.

The height of the blaze was captured in spectacular fashion by drone photographer Oliver Bolton, whose footage shows the true devastation of the fire, as flames tore through the building’s roof sending huge plumes of smoke into the air.

The former care home closed its doors to residents in May 2019, after being judged as inadequate in all areas by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It has since been subject to a planning application to demolish it to pave the way for 16 new properties - an application submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council earlier this month.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing. Norfolk County Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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