ARSON cannot be ruled out as the cause of a blaze that destroyed a £1.4 million house in Poole at the weekend, firefighters say.

Investigations continue at the detached property in affluent Branksome Park, following the drama that unfolded in the early hours of Sunday morning.


However, forensic teams working to establish the cause of the fire are being hampered by the building’s unsafe condition.

Nobody was in the house at the time of the fire. Dorset Police and Dorset Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) have since launched a joint investigation. Yesterday, a DFRS spokesman told the Daily Echo that arson could not be ruled out at this stage.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” added the spokesman. “But the state of the building is so dangerous investigators are finding it difficult to access where they believe the fire started.”

Initial 999 calls were made to DFRS at 2.30am on Sunday. At the height of the drama nine fire engines attend the scene.

Firefighters used an aerial platform on Sunday morning and worked with thermal imaging technology to locate and dampen down the remaining hotspots in the building.

A security guard could also be seen manning the cordon in front of the house yesterday afternoon.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said that they could see the flames and ashes shooting up as high above the trees surrounding the house.

He said: “My son was awake, although he had headphones on, and felt the house shudder. The flames and the sparks were well above the trees, with some at least 32 metres high.”

The son, who also asked not to be named, added: “There was a bang and then you could clearly see the flames and the sparks flying off.

“The roof had already fallen in, but there was many more crackling and banging noises from the fire after that.

“The fire was completely raging when the first fire engine arrived after we called 999 and several more turned up thereafter.”