Leicester Corah factory fire treated as arson

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Media captionThe fire broke out at 02:40 GMT in St John Street

A blaze at a derelict knitwear factory which damaged up to 35 cars is being treated as arson.

It is the seventh time the former Corah factory in Leicester has been targeted in the last two years, according to the fire service.

A spokesman said if action was not taken soon someone could be killed.

About 45 firefighters fought the flames, which was of "such intensity" it spread to another building and caused damage to a dealership.

Roads near St John Street were closed for several hours after the fire started at 02:40 GMT

More on this story and other news in Leicestershire

Image copyright Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
Image caption The blaze was brought under control at about 06:00 GMT

About 60 cars in the compound were saved despite "severe" damage to another 35.

A spokesman said repeated incidents at the site were a serious problem.

"This is despite attending this site on eight occasions in the past six months as part of our preventative strategy to reduce the risk of further fires occurring.

"Our main fear is that it is only a matter of time before we are reporting the death or serious injury of a firefighter or a member of public."

Corah closed in the mid 1990s. A joint investigation between the fire service and the police has begun into the cause of the blaze.

Image copyright Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
Image caption At its height about 45 firefighters fought the flames
Image copyright Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Cars were sprayed with foam to prevent the fire spreading further

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