Police say a fire that gutted a former sweet factory in Skegness at the weekend was arson and are appealing for anyone with information to come foward.
Six fire crews from the surrounding area were called to fight the blaze at the boarded up old Fravigar warehouse on Heather Road, which started between 4pm and 5pm on Saturday.
Yesterday, police said they believed the fire was started deliberately and urged anyone who saw any suspicious activity to get in touch.
A spokesman Lincolnshire Police said: “The site is unused and was boarded up but we believe someone has gained access and started the fire deliberately.”
Thick, black smoke could be seen pouring over the rooftops surrounding the industrial estate and some people on social media said they could smell it from a mile away.
Residents in the area were forced to shut their windows and Blake Williams said: “I could smell it. Had to close all my windows. I couldn’t even see out of them. The cats all ran indoors.”
One witness, who was in Morrisons when the fire broke out, said: “You could smell rubber from inside the store.
“When I went out the sky was murky with thick black, smoke- it was like there was a heavy thunder storm coming in.”
Louise Torrington-Spencer, who is a customer assistant at Tesco, said: “I was at work when customers started to notice black smoke. At one point I thought the shop would have to be evacuated.”
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue used main jets to get the blaze under control and a firefighter at the scene said the fire was under control in about an hour.
There was severe fire damage to quantity of polystyrene panels within derelict warehouse and smoke damage to remainder.
The incident took place yards away from the Yorkshire Country Meats building which was ravaged by fire in March and remains closed.
Dexter the East Midlands Fire Dog was rushed to Fenwold Vets in Spilsby after eating the bait investigating the fire but thankfully recovered.
Anyone with information about Saturday’s fire is asked to call Sgt Andrew Price on 101 quoting incident 321 of July 22. To report anonymously call Crimestopppers on 0800 555111.