A FIRE was deliberately started in a café’s toilets while families with young children were present.

At around 2pm on Thursday, February 29, the toilets of The Ark café in Poole Park were severely damaged by a fire.

It is believed that the fire was started deliberately.

As reported, the blaze caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the facilities, according to the owner of the café, Nick Davis.

The café was evacuated, including women breastfeeding and with babies, as the café filled with black smoke.

Now, Dorset Police officers are issuing a CCTV image of a person they would like to identify as they investigate the suspected arson.

Bournemouth Echo:

Police community support investigator Michael Hamilton-Fletcher, of Bournemouth police, said: “This incident occurred at a time when there were a lot of families with young children present.

“We have carried out a number of detailed enquiries into this incident and I am now releasing a CCTV image of a person we are looking to identify as part of our investigation.

“I would urge anyone with information regarding their identity to please contact us.”

Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police at dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240031905.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.

A spokesperson for DWFRS previously said: “We were called to Poole Park Road, Poole at 1.58pm on Thursday (29 February) to deal with a fire in the toilets of a café.

“Three crews attended, two from Poole and one from Westbourne, and four breathing apparatus wearers used two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire.

“A ventilation fan was used to clear the smoke and our stop was at 2.55pm.

“The police were informed as we believe the fire to have been started deliberately.”