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Teenager in court charged with £1m Burnley supermarket arson
9:17am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
A TEENAGER has appeared in court charged with a £1million arson attack on a Spar store on the outskirts of Burnley.
Ben Young, 19, of Thorn Street, Duke Bar, was charged with arson with intent to endanger lives after fire ripped through the Padiham Road store on Sunday night.
Andrew Robinson, prosecuting at Burnley Magistrates’ Court, said the endangering lives element of the charge referred to nearby properties, some of which were only feet from the store, rather than staff, who had just finished locking up the premises.
The provisional estimate of the damage, caused by the fire, which started around 10.30pm, is around £1million, the court heard.
No bail application was made on behalf of Young, who spoke only to give his name and address, by his solicitor Nick Dearing.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders sent the case for crown court trial and remanded Young in custody following a five-minute hearing. Young will next appear for a preliminary hearing at Burnley Crown Court on January 28.
Yesterday the store, which has been sealed off, was visited by surveyors, before a decision is taken on whether to bulldoze the building’s remains.
Around a dozen staff who worked at the store, close to Palace Gardens, have been reassigned to other Spar stores in the area.
Four fire crews from Burnley, Nelson and Padiham stations were called to deal with the blaze at its height and Padiham Road was closed for at least an hour and a half while the flames were brought under control.
Around 20 firefighters stayed at the scene as it took around four hours to extinguish the initial blaze.
Several nearby residents were evacuated from their homes, amid fears the fire, fuelled by wines and spirits sold in the store would spread to nearby properties.
The store, which opened in 2001, has been cordoned off so police and fire investigators can obtain evidence. No staff or customers were injured as a result of the fire.
Large sections of the roof had collapsed and little was left unscathed inside the building, which is owned by Preston-based Spar franchisees James Hall and Co Ltd.