Police investigating the cause of Sunday afternoon’s fire at the Busy Bees Pre-School in Laindon suspect arson as the cause. The building, adjacent to the Blue House Farm Community Centre on Laindon Link, suffered extensive damage and the collapse of its roof.
Incident Commander, Divisional Officer Moira Bruin said:
“When crews arrived at the incident they were faced with a very well-developed fire in the roof void of the Busy Bees Children’s Centre. The firefighters used the aerial ladder platform to reach the seat of the fire in the roof void and due to the firefighters’ efforts and hard work they prevented the fire from spreading to the social club next door.
“Thankfully everyone had been evacuated before the crews arrived.”
Police officers identified a group of teenagers who were seen near the building a short time before the outbreak and spoke to them in order to ascertain how the fire started.
Later on Sunday, two 12-year-old children, one boy and one girl, were arrested at their homes in Basildon on suspicion of arson and then released on police bail until Tuesday, May 6 pending further enquiries.