Cheyne Walk Golf Club fire: ‘Man charged with arson’

Image copyright Daily Telegraph Image caption Police say damage is estimated at £50,000

A City of London employee has been charged with arson after a fire in a golf course clubhouse meant to be used for homeless people went horribly wrong.

The incident took place last November and started at a section of the Cheyne Walk Golf Club that housed vehicles and was intended to be demolished.

The man, who is from Kent, had been due to appear in court last week but did not show up.

The unnamed City worker – now charged – was arrested on Thursday, but has now been released on bail until 4 June.

If he does not appear before then, he will be arrested again.

Two guns and knives

A 20-man team from the City of London fire service was called to the incident, which started at about 16:30 GMT on 29 November.

More than 20 fire engines and two specialist units of heavy rescue vehicles took part in the battle against the flames.

They discovered five handguns, two knives and at least 70 rounds of ammunition. They also found the body of a man in a smoke-filled freezer in the locker room.

The man’s body was found by a fireman.

The golf club clubhouse was destroyed, with a major fire extinguisher explosion.

Explosive devices

Iain Gilchrist, chief fire officer for London Fire Brigade, said he was aware of explosive devices recovered at the scene, but could not reveal their specific use.

Image copyright Solent News Image caption

“It is important to be able to give a reliable response to those concerned by the threat posed,” he said.

“It would be grossly irresponsible for anyone to try to carry out attacks, particularly with explosive devices, using any class of firearms or deadly weapons.”

The golf club is part of the Capital Golf Links development, which was due to cost £2bn and was believed to include the building of 1,700 homes.

Firefighters put out the blaze within an hour.

Image copyright Journal/PA Image caption It has been estimated the damage caused by the fire is worth £50,000

Image copyright Solent News Image caption A fire incident at the Cheyne Walk Golf Club Clubhouse

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