Arrest made over blaze at nightclub

Ben Mitchell,Press Association
Monday 15 March 2010 01:00

Police have arrested a man in connection with an arson attack on a nightclub which led to 230 people being evacuated, police said today.

The fire at The Rhino Club in Southampton, Hampshire, was discovered by police at 2.15am yesterday.

A total of six fire engines, an aerial ladder and two fire support vehicles were scrambled by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to extinguish the blaze which started on the first floor of the premises.

Ian Sainsbury, spokesman for Hampshire police, said: "Police investigating a suspected arson at The Rhino Club have arrested a man.

"He has since been released on bail while police continue to investigate.

"Quick-thinking patrolling police officers spotted the fire and alerted staff at the club and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"Staff were able to evacuate the club before the fire took hold with assistance from the officers.

"It is thought the fire was started deliberately and police are working with fire investigators to establish exactly what happened."

He added that no-one was injured in the incident.

Detective Inspector Linda Howard, of Hampshire police, said: "This could so easily have been a very serious incident with many people inside the club when the fire started."