A FIRE in Wokingham town centre last night is thought to have been started deliberately.
A crew from Bracknell Fire Station were called to the blaze at The Plaza, off Denmark Street, at 9.35pm following reports that there was a fire near the entrance to the multi-storey car park.
An eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said that she had noticed several bin bags of shredded paper in the area shortly before the fire was discovered.
She said: “I saw six or seven bin bags had been left outside a charity shop in Denmark Street, and noticed several young men, in their late teens or early twenties, hanging around.
“I went to a nearby shop and when I returned the bags had gone, but there was a trail of shredded paper left behind. As I walked on I saw there was a lot of the paper dumped in The Plaza, and a couple of the bin bags had been set alight close to the lifts of the car park.
“I saw some of the same young men running away from the area, I called out to them to say that I knew what they had done and to call 999, but they said they didn’t have anything to do with it, and didn’t have a mobile phone.
“I only live a few minutes away so I called 999 myself when I got home, but they had already been alerted to the fire. There are a lot of businesses around there, I know The Gig House would have been quite busy, and there are flats above Brown Bag, so this could have been quite worrying for the people living there.
“I am just glad that no-one was hurt.”
A spokesperson for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that a a pump from Bracknell attended the scene and doused the flames using a hose reel. The fire was quickly brought under control, but firefighters did believe it to be suspicious and passed the details onto Thames Valley Police.
Anyone who saw anything, or noticed anyone acting suspiciously around the time of the fire, is urged to call the police on 101.