UPDATE: Banbury flat fire now being treated as arson

Emergency services including the fire and rescue service will be present on the day
Emergency services including the fire and rescue service will be present on the day

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service were called to reports of a flat fire last Friday night.

Just after 9pm on Friday, August 18, fire crews received reports of a flat fire on St John’s Road, Banbury.

Fire crews at the scene of a flat fire which police are now treating as arson NNL-170824-144644001

Fire crews at the scene of a flat fire which police are now treating as arson NNL-170824-144644001

Police are saying it was a targeted attack by unknown offenders who broke into first floor flat and set fire it on fire, causing extensive damage.

The victim, a woman in her thirties, was not in the property at the time and was not injured.

Two fire engines from Banbury and one from Chipping Norton attended the scene.

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus immediately entered the property to search for residents and tackled the blaze using high pressure hose reels, using a large fan to clear the smoke logging throughout the apartment.

Top floor flat can be seen with the window open after arsonists targeted the address in Banbury NNL-170824-145043001

Top floor flat can be seen with the window open after arsonists targeted the address in Banbury NNL-170824-145043001

Investigating officer, PC Robert Kelly from Banbury police station, said: “This was a concerning incident which caused extensive damage, but thankfully did not lead to any injuries.

“A thorough investigation has now been launched, and I would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the offence or any suspicious behaviour in the area around this time.

“If you have any information, please call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference 43170246350.”

Station Manager Chris Barber said: “The first crews on scene were faced with a first floor filled with smoke coming from a significant fire in the hallway of the flat.

“Thankfully, the smoke alarms had alerted neighbours and this enabled the fire service to respond and swiftly extinguish the fire and prevent further damage”

No arrests have been made,