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Police centre fire was 'arson'

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed a fire at a new training centre that was being constructed at Black Rock Quarry in Portishead was started deliberately.

Very soon after the fire was discovered, we began a detailed and thorough investigation. We brought in a forensic scientist with specific expertise in the field of arson to work closely alongside our own crime scene investigation and forensic teams to get to the root cause of the fire. Together, they have concluded that the building was deliberately set alight.

Our searches for forensic evidence have been carried out in the most meticulous way despite the devastation caused by the fire and our examination of the scene continues still. We are under no illusions about the scale of the task we face and are likely to remain at the scene for some time but we will do everything in our power to ensure that whomever is responsible is brought to justice.

– Detective Superintendent Andy Williams, Head of the Major Crime Investigation Team.


Heavy equipment to tackle firearms centre fire damage

The aftermath of the fire at the Police Firearms Centre at Portishead Credit: Avon Fire & Rescue

Heavy duty equipment is to be brought in to help tackle a fire that broke out a week ago at the police firearms training centre in Portishead.

One crew remains at the scene dealing with hot spots. It's hoped the developers will provide specialist equipment to lift the collapsed roof, allowing firefighters in to deal with the small fires still burning.

Fire crews still tackling Portishead fire, five days on

Avon and Somerset Fire Service says it is still dealing with 'hotspots' following a large fire at a partially-built police firearms centre in Portishead. The fire broke out five days ago, with an anarchist group posting a letter on a Bristol website claiming responsibility.

The facility under construction at the Black Rock Quarry site was a £16 million pound education centre to train officers in the use of firearms. Avon and Somerset Police say they are 'devastated' by the fire's impact.

The fire service say its efforts to control the fire have been hampered by the building being too unsafe for crews to enter.


One fire engine remains at police training centre fire

Firefighting continues at the police firearms training centre in Portishead. Just one crew is now at the scene overnight.

There are still hotspots burning in places under the collapsed roof and work to gain access using cutting equipment was underway today.

Avon Fire & Rescue says there are fewer hot spots and smoke levels have reduced significantly.

The investigation into what caused the fire will begin once the fire is out and the building is judged safe to enter.

Crews still at the scene of police training centre fire

Fire crews at the police training centre in Portishead on Tuesday Credit: Avon Fire & Rescue

Investigations into a fire at the new police firearms training centre in Portishead cannot begin until the fire is fully extinguished and structural engineers confirm that it is safe to enter the building.

Crews were still damping down at the scene in Black Rock Quarry last nigh and specialist equipment has been brought in to help gain access to the centre.

The cause is currently being treated as unexplained - despite claims from an anarchist group that they started the fire on Monday night.

Latest on fire at police training centre in Portishead

Fire crews at the firearms training centre on Tuesday Credit: Avon Fire & Rescue

Avon Fire & Rescue Service says it's unlikely investigators will be able to get on site today (Thursday).

There are still a number of fires burning under the roof of the police training centre at Black Rock Quarry in Portishead.

Specialist equipment is being brought in to make cuts in the walls so entry can be gained that way.

Two fire engines and a high volume pump are involved in pumping water onto the centre.

The investigation will not begin until the fire is out and it is safe to enter the building.

Police hope to start their investigation on Thursday

Police officers and fire investigators are hoping they may be able to start their investigations on Thursday.

The Fire Brigade is still working on the site looking for hotspots within the burning remains.

No work can be done until the structural engineers have assessed the site.

The fire is still being treated as an unexplained fire, despite claims from an anarchist group they started the blaze.

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