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Peterborough fire: Five arrested over Whirlpool HQ blaze

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Media captionThe trailers contained spare parts for washing machines and fridges

Five teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a massive blaze engulfed Whirlpool HQ in Peterborough.

Explosions were heard and plumes of thick black smoke spread across the sky as fire destroyed 50 trailers at the site on Thursday evening.

Almost £2m of damage was caused by the blaze, which was brought under control by about 22:15 BST.

The males, aged between 15 and 19, are in police custody.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The fire gutted 52 lorry trailers

Group commander Karl Bowden said the loud bangs reported were tyres on the trailers “popping off the rims” in the searing heat.

“These are the articulated lorry trailers, so they’re the largest ones you can get,” he said.

“These lorry trailers are full of parts for washing machines and fridges.”

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Explosions were caused by lorry tyres popping off their rims
Image copyright
Image caption Eight crews from four counties tackled the blaze

Firefighters from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk were involved in tackling the blaze but Mr Bowden said only one crew remained overnight dampening down hotspots.

A Whirlpool spokeswoman said no-one was injured and no buildings on the site were affected.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption About £2m of damage was caused by the fire

Whirlpool, which owns the brand Hotpoint, has its UK headquarters at the Peterborough site.

About 1,000 of Whirlpool’s 2,500 UK workforce are based there.

Image copyright Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption There were no reports of injuries and the headquarters remains open
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Firefighters are re-inspecting the site regularly


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