A teenage boy has been arrested following an arson attack on Malmesbury Abbey.
Officers arrested the 16-year-old, who is believed to be from the local area, yesterday (8 June).
He was held in custody on suspicion of arson and interviewed under caution – and was later released on bail. Wiltshire Police say their investigation is ongoing.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at around 9pm on Friday (3 June) following reports of the blaze involving rubbish directly next to the abbey.
Due to a lack of on-call firefighters, Malmesbury Fire Station was unable to respond to the blaze – putting the 12th-century Grade I listed building at risk of being destroyed.
Luckily, local residents and staff from nearby businesses – including The Bird Cage restaurant and The Old Bell Hotel – rushed to save the abbey, using fire extinguishers and buckets of water.
“Enquiries are ongoing and we are actively progressing several further lines of enquiry”, a spokesperson said.
They added: “We are appealing to members of the public who may have information relating to this incident to contact us on 101 quoting log 54220057246.
“Alternatively you can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”
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