Ths suspect in an arson attack on a property in Chippenham this afternoon was detained by a police dog after he was spotted fleeing the scene into nearby scrubland.
The 31-year-old local man is now in custody, held on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life – an offence which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Emergency services were called to the blaze at a ground-floor flat in Charter Road at around 1.30pm. Neighbours say the property is as a “known crack den” with drug users visiting it frequently.
Three fire crews were sent to the incident and the flames were extinguished quickly on arrival. Nearby residents were evacuated to ensure their safety, but no one was injured in the blaze.
“A man has been arrested in connection with a fire at a property in Charter Road, Chippenham”, a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police told Wiltshire 999s.
Adding: “A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and is in police custody.”
Police Dog Bree was praised by her handler, who added that although the suspect was in an “agitated state”, he decided to follow the dog handler’s directions to avoid being bitten.
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