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Norbury Road: Derelict The Grange pub fire 'was deliberate,' fire brigade says

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A FIRE in the derelict The Grange pub was started on purpose, fire officials believe.

Fire crews were called to the building in Norbury Road, Thornton Heath, at about 2.45pm this afternoon (Monday).

Shawn Howlett, Norbury white watch manager, said fire investigators believed the cause was "deliberate ignition," probably to stored papers.

He added firefighters had limited the damage to about ten per cent of the ground floor, where the fire began, and no injuries were reported.

The caller who reported the fire had said someone was in the building, Mr Howlett said, but firefighters searched the building and found no-one.

"The ambulance service attended but we stood them down once we established [the person] was out of the premises," he added.

One crew from Norbury and one from West Norwood attended, closing off the road for more than one hour.

A neighbour said there had been no sign of squatters at the building, which is boarded-up with metal sheets, and security there was tight.

Deepan Jesuthasan, who works in nearby Local Express supermarket, recalled seeing fire engines arrive.

"About six or seven firefighters jumped over the wall and into the pub," he added.

A Met police spokesman confirmed police were called, adding "inquiries into the circumstances of the fire are ongoing."

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