UPDATE: Fire at Romford Primark treated as arson

Police are treating the fire which broke out on Bank Holiday Monday at Primark in Romford as arson.

Staff and shoppers were evacuated from the South Street store and part of the adjoining Liberty Shopping Centre on the busy Bank Holiday Monday (May 2) at 2.15pm as the fire alarm sounded.

A police spokesman said: “We were called by the London Fire Brigade at 2.24pm and assisted with the ongoing evacuation. Investigators at the scene found it was suspicious and a crime scene was established.

“We are treating the incident as arson to a building endangering life.”

Susan McCall, spokesman for the Liberty Shopping Centre, said: “There was a small fire in the first floor of the Primark store and it was evacuated immediately. No one was hurt. About 3.30pm we were given the all clear by the fire brigade.”

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Vicky Lee, who was in the area at the time with a friend, said: “We noticed security guards running down South Street towards Primark. Intrigued by the commotion we followed to see what was happening. We found two fire engines there already and saw that the Primark staff had just been evacuated.

“At that point there was a lot of smoke coming from the South Street entrance and another two fire engines followed shortly along with a command unit and a police van.

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She added: “The staff seemed very calm and the fire crew also seemed to have everything under control. We tried to venture into the centre but it was all cordoned off.

“On entering via Stewards Walk we found all shops to be closed up to as far away as the Disney Store and that the whole Liberty Centre was filled with smoke.”

Four fire engines, a police van and fire command unit were outside the Primark store.

The clothes shop was open again on Tuesday morning (May 3).

If anyone has any information about the incident they are asked to call police on 0300 123 12 12.

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