Woman in 50s arrested on suspicion of arson after car repair centre fire
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A woman in her 50s is in police custody after almost 20 cars were badly damaged in a fire at a family-run vehicle repair centre.
The blaze, which is believed to have started at 3.30am badly damaged between 15 and 20 cars causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
A woman in her 50s has since been arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody, a spokesperson from Norfolk police confirmed.
Owner of the repair shop, Colin Baldwin, 77, who is one of four family members who are directors, raised the alarm after his wife spotted the fire from their bedroom window.
"I was the first one here and could hear pops and bangs from up the driveway," he said. "I was here in my dressing gown and waited until the emergency services got here.
"It's absolutely devastating and was quite traumatic, we're all about customer service and treating our customers right, and then something that's completely out of our hands like this happens."
Norfolk police continue to investigate the cause of the fire, which happened while no members of staff were at the repair shop.
Nobody was injured in the blaze and CCTV at the site has been passed on to officers.
Mark Waters, group operations manager at East Bilney Coachworks, said it is "very rare" that anything like this happens.
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He added: "We have one car with electric problems that caused a fire around 20 years ago but something like this has never happened to us before.
"It is devastating, but we are working with police while they investigate the incident and our repair shop is continuing to operate."
Staff are unable to assess the damage of the vehicles involved while the police cordon is in place but have made customers and insurance companies aware of the incident.
East Bilney Coachworks has eight branches in Norfolk and was established in 1975.
- Any customers wanting more information on vehicles can ring 01362 860599.