Mystery surrounds an outbreak of fire which occurred at Ramsden Heath on Tuesday evening.
Smoke was seen coming from Lawn House, an empty residence near Ramsden Heath Post Office, and Great Burstead Fire Brigade were called. They were on the scene in commendably short time but found the house had become a mass of flames.
Next to the house and dangerously close to the flames were the Post Office and the garage and bakery belonging to Mr. J. Patten. Large supplies of petrol were in danger.
Working under the direction of Chief Officer J. W. Wheatley, the firemen made a determined attack on the outbreak and succeeded in extinguishing it. The house was badly gutted, although the flooring and other portions were saved.
Lawn House, a large old residence of pleasant appearance, has been unoccupied for the past two years. It is owned by Mr Charles Rowlands, who lives at Ilford.
A strange circumstance is that a petrol can was found in the premises and it is said that paraffin oil had been spread about.