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Arson suspected following fire at The Avenue Methodist Church in Rutland Avenue, High Wycombe

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Damage following a suspected arson attack at The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue, High Wycombe. (Archive picture)

A suspected arson attack caused ‘substantial’ damage to The Avenue Church in Rutland Avenue, High Wycombe.

On Sunday 31st March 2019, at around 10.50pm, the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service alerted officers from Thames Valley Police to a fire at The Avenue Methodist Church in Rutland Avenue, Castlefield, High Wycombe.

Police believe it is likely the fire was started several hours before the emergency services were called and that the fire was likely to have been started deliberately. The damage caused to the church is described as ‘substantial’.

Investigating officer PC Gemma Brown, based at High Wycombe police station, said: ‘I am appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the Rutland Avenue area on Sunday 31 March.

This incident has severely damaged an important community building and I urge anyone with any information to come forward.

You can get in touch using our online form or by calling 101, quoting reference number 43190097750. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Firefighters were called to the incident at 10.29pm. One fire appliance with crew attended from High Wycombe fire station, one from Beaconsfield fire station as well as one from Maidenhead fire station. Two officers also attended.

One hose reel, two sets of breathing apparatus and a fan were used by the firefighters during the operation to extinguish the fire.

The fire, which was in the foyer of the church, followed a break in. The fire the church has cancelled all activities, including the Easter Fete, until further notice.

Nobody was injured as a result of the fire which was contained.

The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue, High Wycombe. (Archive picture)

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