Man charged after large fire at allotments

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A suspect has been charged after emergency services quickly responded to a large fire and the sound of explosions at some allotments.

Police were called to the site in Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, at around 9.30pm on Friday 14 May 2021 after a man was reported to have been seen starting a fire.

Fire crews from Ashfield, Blidworth and London Road, along with Alfreton from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, tackled the blaze.

Roads in the area were closed as emergency service colleagues worked to bring the incident to a safe conclusion. Multiple allotments, sheds and greenhouses were damaged in the fire.

As Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service worked to put out the fire, police arrested a man on suspicion of arson.

An officer was allegedly racially abused and threatened with violence.

Nathan Smith, 31, of no fixed address, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday (17 May 2021) charged with arson and racially-aggravated common assault.

He was remanded in custody and is next due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on 14 June 2021.

Inspector Mark Dickson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a resource intensive incident that required a joint response from emergency services.

“This would have been incredibly concerning for the local community, with the fire causing damage to multiple structures at the allotments.

“Nottinghamshire Police takes hate crime in all its forms very seriously and will always look to take appropriate and proportionate action against those found to committed offences. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”