Suspected arson at Phoenix Children's Project Centre in Norwich

Phoenix Children's Project Centre Police are appealing for witnesses to the fire at the children's centre, which has charity status

A charitable centre for children has been severely damaged in a suspected arson attack.

The Phoenix Children's Project Centre in Mile Cross, Norwich, has three main halls for families living in the area.

Firefighters were called out just before 22:00 GMT on Saturday after the building was reported to be on fire.

The property, refurbished after volunteers helped raise £500,000 to buy it in 2006, was empty at the time of the fire.

A fire service spokesman said the fire had caused "extensive damage".

Police have appealed for anyone who saw what happened to come forward.

A police spokesman said the fire was thought to have been started deliberately.

The centre has been sealed off and a joint police and fire service investigation is under way.

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