Ashton Court Mansion fire: Arson suspected

Ashton Court Mansion
Image caption The fire at Ashton Court Mansion was contained to two rooms of the building, the fire service said

A fire which caused "significant damage" to Ashton Court Mansion is thought to have been started deliberately.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service were called to the incident in the northern wing at about 21:00 BST on Friday.

At its height, 40 to 50 firefighters tackled the blaze overnight and into the early hours of Saturday.

Arson is suspected and Avon and Somerset Police have started an investigation.

A spokesman said the fire caused a "significant amount of damage".

Crime scene examination

"The immediate area of the fire has been cordoned off and is the subject of a detailed crime scene examination," he added.

Bristol mayor George Ferguson praised firefighters who dealt with the flames.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Ferguson thanked the crews at Avon Fire and Rescue Service for their "fast and heroic work".

A Bristol City Council spokesman also said the "quick and effective" actions of the firefighters had undoubtedly saved the mansion from considerable damage.

Ashton Court is a mansion and estate in North Somerset, to the west of the city of Bristol. It is owned by the City of Bristol.

It is used for a variety of events, including the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and the Bristol International Kite Festival.

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