Wiltshire’s most senior detectives have been assigned to investigate a suspicious flat fire in Devizes.
More than 35 firefighters were involved in tackling the near-fatal blaze at the block in Waiblingen Way at around 1am this morning, Tuesday 17 December.
One woman, understood to be a resident, aged in her 50s, was taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where she remains in a critical condition.
Eight other people – aged between five and 62 – were assessed at the scene by paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service but did not require hospital treatment.
The fire was extinguished by 2.25am, and a joint investigation with the fire service and Wiltshire Police was launched to determine the cause of the fire.
Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) are now leading the investigation.
DCI Darren Hannant said: “Due to the critical condition of one of the victims, this investigation is now being led by MCIT, with the assistance of local community officers and CID.
“We have already spoken to a number of local residents and we continue to urge anyone who may have information in relation to any suspicious activity in the area prior to 1am to contact us on 101 if they have not already done so.”
Acting Inspector Pete Foster said: “This incident will no doubt have caused great concern to those living in Waiblingen Way, as well as the wider community of Devizes.
“I know there will be some speculation around the cause of this fire following a series of small fires in the area back in the summer. However, I would like to stress the importance of not speculating or naming individuals, especially on social media, and allowing officers to conduct a thorough and timely investigation.
“While this investigation is carried out, the public are likely to see an increased police presence in the area. Please do not be alarmed by this, and if you have any specific concerns, approach an officer or call 101.”
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