TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a wedding venue was destroyed by fire.

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Sixty firefighters from Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk were called to Chilford Hall, Linton, at 3.20am this morning (June 13). They stopped the fire spreading to a nearby shop and wine store, but the barn has been razed.

Two men, aged 27 and 26 and both from Haverhill, were arrested in the town in the early hours of this morning police said.

“Two people have been arrested following a fire at Chilford Hall during the early hours,” said a Cambridgeshire Constabulary

“The men have been arrested on suspicion of arson and are currently in custody at Parkside Police Station. Both men were arrested at an address in Haverhill during the early hours of this morning.”

The flames enveloped an area around 50m by 50m in size, devastating the 18th-century Little Barn, the Great Hall and the adjoining Pavilion and Gallery.

A spokeswoman for the conference centre confirmed this amounted to all the facilities for weddings and functions at Chilford Hall. The house, wine store and shop were saved from the flames, and police are now investigating how the inferno started.

A spokesman from Chilford Hall said: “We are extremely sad to confirm reports of a serious fire at Chilford Hall on Wednesday June 13 during the early hours of the morning.

“We are working on re-establishing our communications system and phone lines as quickly as possible - the events team is contacting clients to inform them of the devastating news.”

Two crews were sent to Chilford Hall after reports of smoke in the area. When the first engine arrived, six other crews were mobilised immediately to help.

Around 45 firefighters were still on site at 8.30am.

• Were you due to have an event at Chilford Hall? Call The Hunts Post on 01480 443 472 or e-mail hywel.barrett@archant.co.uk

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