Dorchester man arrested on suspicion of arson

Fire engines outside flats
Photo: Portland Fire Station

When most Dorset residents were still asleep at around 4:00am on Monday 29th June, a fire was started at a block of flats on Bitter End, Dorchester.

Roads were closed and the residents were evacuated as the emergency services flooded the area and dealt with the incident.

Police, fire and ambulance attended.

At least eight fire vehicles were on the scene – two from Dorchester, two from Bridport, and one from Weymouth, Bere Regis, Maiden Newton, and Portland.

An aerial appliance from Weymouth and another support unit from Hamworthy also attended the Dorchester flat fire, and firefighters performed the evacuation of Bitter End residents with the help of ladders where needed.

At 7:30am, when the fire was out, the area was reopened and everyone was pleased to hear that there were no injuries.

Dorset Police state that the unforgivable act is thought to have been started deliberately – as an act of arson – and they will be performing and aiding a full investigation to bring the person to justice.

Just one day after the fire, officers announced that a 42-year-old man from Dorchester has been arrested on suspicion of arson with the intent to endanger life of a person or persons in the flats at Bitter End, Dorchester.

However, more evidence needs to be presented for the man to be charged. This has resulted in the Dorchester man being released on bail, pending further investigation.

Police are now appealing for information from anyone who may have seen the events unfold during the early morning of 29th June.

I am appealing to anyone who may have seen or heard any suspicious activity in the area around the relevant time to please get in touch.

I would also urge anyone with information that may assist my investigation to please come forward.

An investigation is underway to establish the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

Detective Constable Kirsty Wilson

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email [email protected] or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55200093577. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at or call freephone 0800 555 111.

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