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Spontaneously combusting tea towels start pub fire

Firefighters put out the fire at the Gordon Arms pub Credit: Google Maps

Firefighters have put out a fire started by a pile of spontaneously combusting tea towels.

The crew arrived to find a small fire in the utility room of a the Gordon Arms pub in Oundle Road, in Orton Longueville, Peterborough.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel and jet to put out the flames. They said the blaze is likely to have been started when hot tea towels were folded on top of one another and started to smoulder.

Firefighters arrived to find teatowels had been set alight Credit: PA

"When the crew arrived, they could smell burnt oil, similar to that of a kitchen fire. A small fire was located on the first floor in a utility room, which turned out to be a pile of washed, dried and folded tea towels that had been smouldering for a number of hours.

"It is believed that the tea towels - which had been exposed to kitchen oils and grease - were folded while hot, causing them to self-heat and a fire to start.

"Although this type of fire is rare, we would like to remind those in the catering industry to ensure they wash towels correctly to remove all traces of fats and oils and therefore minimise the risk of this type of incident.

"It is also very important to remind all business and homeowners to call the fire service if their alarm does activate and they discover the signs of a fire."

– Watch Commander Darren Thompson


Inquest: Ambulance crews dumped man's body beside rubbish bins

Wellingborough MP Peter Bone has called for an investigation of an "appalling" incident in which a man's body was dumped beside a rubbish bin by paramedics.

Crews from the East of England Ambulance Service were called out after James Harrison, 32, collapsed and died near his home in Cambridgeshire.

The trust has since admitted they left him lying on the floor of an ambulance station so that they could finish the shift on time.

Chief executive Anthony Marsh said the trust is "working with the family" to find out what happened.

"We are very sorry for what happened and have launched a thorough investigation," he added.

The allegations came to light after a whistle-blower contacted the press claiming Mr Harrison's body was left on the floor at Ely Ambulance Station, in Nutholt Lane, for an hour instead of being taken to a mortuary at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge.

Mr Harrison was found dead at his home in of Hardwicke Close, Littleport, on September 24.

The inquest will take place at the South Fens Business Centre, Chatteris, today.

Teens cleared of beating man to death in underpass

Cambridge Crown Court Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Four teenagers have been cleared of beating a man to death in an underpass.

Prosecutors at Cambridge Crown Court had claimed Michael Green, 23, was hit with a vodka bottle, punched, kicked and stamped on by the gang - three boys and a girl - in a late-night assault in Peterborough in May last year.

The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied murder and today a jury found all of them not guilty, Cambridgeshire Police said.

"I think about Michael every day and I miss him very much. I have had many very low moments when I have cried for my lost son.

"The thought that Michael's life was so cruelly cut short, is very hard to live with. Michael's death has been a terrible shock to me and to the whole family.

"I have got good support from family and friends. I am very grateful for that support. This has left a huge hole in my life but I am sure that time will be a great healer."

– Michael Green's mother, Barbara Green

The defendants are now all 17 apart from the youngest boy, who is 16.


  1. Anglia

Former Wisbech mayor given a suspended prison sentence over firearm

A former mayor of Wisbech has been given a 21 month prison sentence - suspended for two years and ordered to do community service after a Second World War pistol was found at his home.

Jonathan Farmer was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm after a two-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

The 56-year-old had argued the weapon was an antique and he did not know it was loaded.

  1. Anglia

Councillor to be sentenced over firearm

Jonathan Farmer Credit: ITV News Anglia

A former Wisbech mayor is due to be sentenced today after a Second World War pistol was found at his home. Jonathan Farmer was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm after a two-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

The 56-year-old had argued the weapon was an antique and he didn't know it was loaded. The judge said he should expect a custodial sentence.

Sixteen stowaways found in Peterborough lorry

16 stowaways are being interviewed by the police Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sixteen people found stowed away in a lorry at Perkins Engines in Peterborough are being questioned by police.

They were found yesterday morning and are thought to be from Eritrea in Africa.

The Home Office says the ten men and six women in the lorry had entered the country illegally.

They were taken to Thorpe Wood police station.

  1. Anglia

Man who set up Cambridgeshire's biggest-ever cannabis factory is jailed

The cannabis farm at Benwick Road in Whittlesey. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police.

A 51-year-old man who set up cannabis factories capable of producing £7m of the drug has been jailed. Mohammed Jamshaid Akhtar leased and kitted out a unit at Benwick Road in Whittlesey in 2013. It was one of the largest cannabis factories ever discovered in Cambridgeshire.

Mohammed Jamshaid Akhtar. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police.

Officers found it after attending reports of a burglary on September 9 last year.

They discovered one harvested room and three others containing almost 3,000 plants with a potential street value of up to £4m.

Detectives were also able to link Akhtar to another site in Letchworth in Hertfordshire. That factory contained a total of 3,865 plants with a potential yield worth up to £3.25m.

A third unit, which was in the process of being set up as a cannabis factory, was found in Olney in Buckinghamshire.

Akhtar, or Forest View in London, admitted three charges of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and four charges linked to false documents.

He was jailed for six years during a hearing at Peterborough Crown Court.

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