Friday 17 November 2017

Man arrested on suspicion of setting fire to lapdancing club

Benjamin Wright

Police investigating an alleged arson attack on a lapdancing club say they have arrested a man.

Emergency crews were called to the Dream Lounge in Swindon amid reports a car had reversed into the building before being set alight.

Club owner Pete Rogers believes the blaze was started deliberately and has said he handed over CCTV evidence of the incident unfolding.

Officers said they were currently questioning a man on suspicion of causing arson with intent to endanger life.

A spokesman said: "Following the incident in which a car collided with the front of Dream Lounge, we can confirm an arrest has been made.

"A 26-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

"He currently remains in custody at Gablecross Police Station.

The Dream Lounge, in Victoria Road, bills itself as Swindon's premiere lap-dancing club - offering a "professional laid back, intimate atmosphere".

According to its website, the club is recently under new management.

At 7am on Saturday morning, fire crews were called to the venue following a 999 call about a car fire "close" to the club.

But on arrival crews discovered that the building was well alight as well.

According to reports, the driver of the black Honda had driven the car into the club before escaping through the sun roof and then pouring petrol over the vehicle.

Club owner Mr Rogers said: "I was doing some paperwork upstairs and then all of a sudden I heard a big bang.

"I rushed downstairs and saw that a car was embedded into the front of the building.

"I didn't see the incident happen at the time, but I have seen it on CCTV since.

"Somebody had actually reversed into the front of the building, jumped out of the sunroof, poured petrol on the car and set fire to it."

Mark Fuller, from Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service, described it as a "significant fire" and said that superficial damage had been caused to the front of the club.

"We were confronted by a very fierce fire that was spreading into the building and up to the first floor with flames as high as the roof," he added.

As well as a fire investigation, Wiltshire Police confirmed it was looking into the matter.

Force sergeant Mark Simpson said: "We are conducting a thorough investigation with colleagues from Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, including analysis of CCTV in the area.

"We know that there were several people in the area shortly before the car hit the building and I would like to hear from anyone with information."

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