By Dan Santy 24/07 Updated: 24/07 09:36
A SECOND fire at a shop in Bilton - which exploded earlier this month - is being treated as arson.
Firefighters and police were called to a blaze started by arsonists at the All in One shop on Freemantle Road on Friday (July 20) at around 7.15pm. It was put out quickly with little damage done.
It comes after the same shop blew up when a fire was started and ignited gas in the early hours of Thursday July 5. Ten people trapped in flats above had to be rescued by firefighters.
It means the store has been hit by arsonists twice in just over two weeks - although police are keeing an 'open mind' as to whether the attacks are linked.
Detectives investigating the attacks are urging any witnesses to come forward and believe the arsonists could have suffered burns while setting fire to the shop.
They are convinced someone may know who was responsible for the first blaze which destroyed the All in One shop after its walls were blown out by the blast.
And detectives are appealing for for help as they think the arsonist could have burned themselves or their clothing.
DC Sarah Clapham, who is leading the investigation, said: "As well as assisting with the investigation, we are very concerned for the welfare of the person involved due to the burns they may have suffered.
"We would also like to hear from any witnesses who saw anyone in the area of the shop between 10.30pm on Wednesday July 4 and 12.30am on Thursday July 5 as they may hold important information that could help us identify who started the fire."
Ten people living in flats above the Freemantle Road store had to be rescued by firefighters, using ladders and ropes, following the explosion shortly before 12.45am.
All escaped unharmed but fire chiefs say it was a 'miracle' no one was actually killed.
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