Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno tore through dozens of HGVs at Whirlpool factory costing firm ‘GBP2million’

  • Fire started behind Whirlpool’s UK HQ in Morley Way, Peterborough on Thursday 
  • Emergency services advised any locals to stay inside and close their windows
  • Cambridgeshire Police has confirmed five boys aged between 15 and 19 arrested

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Five teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of arson over a fire tore through lorry trailers at a kitchen appliance factory.

A fire ripped through dozens of trailers behind Whirlpool’s UK headquarters in Peterborough on Thursday evening, releasing a huge plume of smoke into the city sky.

Cambridgeshire Police said ‘about GBP2 million’ of damage was caused by the blaze, which saw around 50 firefighters working to bring the blaze under control when it was at its peak.

Yesterday evening, the force said five boys aged between 15 and 19 were arrested on Friday on suspicion of arson. They remain in custody.

The site is the UK head office of Whirlpool, a household appliance company which owns brands such as Hotpoint and makes tumble dryers and washing machines.

A Whirlpool spokesman said nobody was injured in the incident and no buildings on the site were affected. The trailers – of which around 40 were destroyed – contained spare parts, the spokesman added. 

The charred frames of at least eight HGV trailers can be seen after the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services confronted the roaring blaze at a Hotpoint factory in Peterborough yesterday evening

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

The fire can be seen still blazing under some of the trailers with the burning metal sending off billows of pluming acrid black smoke up into the air

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services can be seen with a fire truck attending to a series of trailers which have seemingly escaped the worst of the fire damage

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

A huge plume of smoke can be seen erupting from a line of HGV trailers behind a Hotpoint factory outlet in Peterborough yesterday evening

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

The billowing noxious smoke can be seen erupting from the Hotpoint factory in Peterborough, slowly rolling up through the city sky

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

The smoke carried through the city with nearby neighbours having to shut their windows due to the huge smoke eruption 

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

Hotpoint is owned by American company Whirlpool and sells washing machines and dishwashers

The arrested boys, one aged 15, three aged 16 and one aged 19, are being held at Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough. 

A series of explosion sounds were heard early on yesterday, as the fire continued through the nigh – engulfing around 40 HGV trailers are in flames. 

‘There was a huge loud explosion.

Police told everyone to move back and they’ve started evacuating the area,’ Jason Crossley, 31, told the Sun Newspaper. 

45-year-old local resident, Amy Price, also heard ‘multiple explosions and several car alarms going off.’  

‘As soon as I got outside I could see the thick acrid smoke with ash falling nearby … the smell was just disgusting,’ she said. 

‘There were continuous streams of ambulances, fire appliances, investigation units and incident support units in attendance.’ 

She added that parents were trying to collect their children from a nearby gymnastics club as police cordoned off and evacuated the immediate area.

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

Reports from Twitter user and former Local Councillor, John Peach, yesterday at 8.20pm said the fire was almost out

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service group commander Karl Bowden said: ‘We’ve got approximately 40 lorry trailers on fire. These lorry trailers are full of parts for washing machines and fridges.

‘There is no risk to the public outside of this immediate area. We are on top of it, we are controlling the fire, and we hope to have it under control and extinguished within the next few hours.’

The fire service posted images showing around eight trailers completely gutted by fire at around 9pm, around two hours after they were called to the incident.

Former Peterborough Mayor, John Peach, said that the Managing Director ‘was getting quite upset’ and was told no when he asked if he could enter the premises.     

The site is owned by Whirlpool, a kitchen appliances company, and comprises of the firm’s UK head office, storage and depot facilities.

Hotpoint is one of Whirlpool’s brands.

Twitter user, John Peach, said at around 7pm: ‘Massive fire somewhere eastern area of Peterborough.

Can hear large bangs as if they’re explosions. Anyone got any news?’

hi i’m tim said: ‘Insane fire in Peterborough currently. Can see it from miles away too.

Thinking it’s Hotpoint in the Woodston area?’ 

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services said they were attending with the police to quell the fire

The fire service urged the public are urged to avoid the area and advised local residents advised to keep doors and windows closed.

The fire service posted images showing around eight trailers completely gutted by fire at around 9pm, around two hours after they were called to the incident.

Peterborough police said temporary road closures were in place in Shrewsbury Avenue, Morley Way and Celta Road.

The force added: ‘It is expected emergency services will be working late into the night to tackle the blaze.’

Hotpoint sell ‘quality home and kitchen appliances,’ according to their website. 

A Whirlpool spokesman confirmed in a statement that no one had been injured in the fire and that no damage had been caused to its buildings. 

‘A fire broke out at approximately 6.45pm today (Thursday, August 29) in an area of our Peterborough headquarters where heavy goods vehicle trailers are parked,’ he said

‘These trailers contained spare parts and the blaze spread to approximately 30 of them.

‘The fire is now under control and investigations by the police into the cause are ongoing.’ 

Whirlpool’s multi-million pound recall

Five teenage boys, aged 15 to 19, are arrested for arson after inferno at Whirlpool factory

A family were facing GBP125,000 of debt last month after a blaze caused by a Whirlpool tumble dryer ripped through their home

Reports surfaced of a fault with Whirlpool tumble dryers setting when clothes fluff touched the heating element of the appliance. 

This caused some models to catch fire and ‘explode’ in some instances. 

Last month Whirlpool announced that it would recall its Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan tumble dryers made between April 1, 2004 and September 30, 2015

The recall will cost millions of pounds for the American company with customers requiring a replacement dryer and installment costs. 

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