Officers are appealing for eye witnesses to come forward after a blaze that was started deliberately and threatened to damage properties in Cheadle from Monday (26 April) evening into Tuesday (27 April) morning.
We were requested to attend the area around Cheadle Park by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service at about 7.30pm on Monday.
The fire was already well alight and the fire service needed roads closing around the scene for safety reasons and so that they could access fire hydrants without causing traffic issues.
At various times throughout the night Park Lane, Park Drive, High Street, Hall Orchard and Monkhouse were closed so the fire service could carry out their duties and protect the properties surrounding the park. Highways also assisted with this.
All the roads except for Park Lane and Park Drive were back open by 1.30am on Tuesday.
The fire service had he fire extinguished by 7.55am and ascertained that the blaze, which at one point had consisted of three separate seats of fire, had been started deliberately.
Speaking at the time, Rob Barber – Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer – said: “These deliberate fires put people and property in danger and are devastating to the local amenity. They place additional strains onto operational resources and tie crews up for considerable amounts of time, meaning that they are not available to respond to other incidents should they occur.”
Staffordshire Police’s Christopher Cubley, in charge of the investigation, said: “Speaking to members of the public we already have several lines of enquiry to follow.
“But we are now appealing for eye witnesses to what caused the fire. No matter if you feel the information you have is large or small, anything that can help us piece together what happened will be greatly appreciated.”
Officers are now seeking anyone who was walking in the park on Monday evening who may have seen or heard anything suspicious around the time of 5pm onwards. The first calls to the fire service came in at 5.45pm.
Anyone with any information or who was in the area at the time and thinks they saw something should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 672 of 26 April, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.