UPDATE: Building fire being treated as ‘suspicious’

De La Warr Road fire, East Grinstead. Photo by Nicola Senior.

De La Warr Road fire, East Grinstead. Photo by Nicola Senior.

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Police are treating a fire at a derelict building, which forced a neighbouring theatre to be evacuated, as ‘suspicious’.

Firefighters were called to De La Warr Road, East Grinstead, at around 1.40pm on Wednesday (December 30).

The blaze broke out in the ground floor of a 50m by 235m building and raged for more than four hours.

A spokesman for the fire service said it was 85 per cent destroyed by the flames. The building was empty and no-one was injured.

Crews from East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Horsham, along with members of the Surrey Fire Service, attended and extinguished the flames.

The fire was out at around 6.20pm.

The nearby Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre was evacuated as a precaution with performances delayed for several hours.

Firefighters along with members of Sussex Police are still investigating the scene.

A police spokesman said the investigation was at an early stage but the cause is being treated as suspicious.

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