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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Police confirm Dalton furniture warehouse fire was arson

A FURNITURE warehouse which was completely gutted by a fire was started deliberately, police have confirmed.

The industrial unit belonging to RHS Design in Crooklands Business Park, Ulverston Road, Dalton, suffered an arson attack on February 14 at around 8.10am.

Timber, tools and machinery was destroyed during the incident, with the estimated cost of replacing all the equipment running into the thousands.

It has left the company unable to fulfil orders, with no obvious sign of when they will be able to re-open.

However, owner of RHS Design, Roger Smith, has vowed to continue with the business, saying staff are working hard to get the warehouse open again.

He said: “Everything was ruined. Every single thing was smoke damaged.

“It was devastating. There wasn’t anything we could really salvage.

“My main concern is to get up and running again. We are in the process of putting (the business) back together.

“We are still getting orders but we can’t fulfil them at the moment. We’ve just been clearing the site. It’s been difficult.”

A police spokesman said that no arrests have been made in connection with the arson, but that the investigation was continuing to find the culprit.

He said the offender forced entry to the warehouse, moved a gas canister into the centre of the workshop, switched it on and then set fire to a machine containing sawdust.

Two fire crews from Barrow attended the scene on the day, using house reel jets to put out the blaze.

RHS Design specialise in handmade furniture and make items such as beds and tables.

Mr Smith added: “We built the business up over 15 years and someone has just burnt it down in 10 minutes.”

Police are asking anyone with information to ring 101 and to talk to DC Jack Montague.

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