Tanker arson investigation closed by police

Police investigating an arson attack at a Hadleigh fuel depot which spread fear among residents and caused £500,000 of damage have closed the case.

Three fuel tankers, carrying around 40,000 litres of kerosene, gas oil and road diesel, parked at Ukay Fuels’ depot in Lady Lane were set alight on November 16.

The fire caused several huge explosions and required 10 fire crews to prevent it from spreading.

A 20-year-old man was arrested a month later but released without charge and police have now announced that the investigation has concluded.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “There are no more ongoing inquiries.

“If any new information comes to light, then the case will be reopened.”

Firefighters battled the blaze for around three hours and stopped it from spreading to an 80,000-litre tanker nearby before it was brought under control. Police closed the A1071 to traffic and cordoned off a 300-metre area surrounding the site.

Nobody was hurt in the incident but the damage was estimated at £500,000.

Several arson attacks had been reported in the town around the time of the incident, including one which destroyed four vehicles in Raven Way, prompting residents to say they were “living in fear”.

A derelict garage in Timperley Road and a horsebox in nearby Raydon were deliberately set alight in August but police believe the Ukay Fuels attack is not connected to the other deliberate fires.

“Pc Matt Paisley, from Hadleigh Police, has done a lot of research into arsons within the area,” said the spokeswoman.

“He thinks this was an isolated incident and it is not being linked to the other arsons.”

Crimestoppers had offered a £1,000 reward for information that led to the arrest of those responsible, but no such information was forthcoming.

Officers from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Suffolk Police had also set up stalls in Hadleigh in an attempt to find out who started the fire.

Anthony Iameo, chief executive of Ukay Fuels, said at the time that the fire could have been “a disaster” for the area and praised the fire crews.