Two men charged with arson after fire caused by 'disposable BBQ thrown into woodland'

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Fire brigades have warned people about using disposable barbecues during the UK heatwave. (Getty Images)

Two men have been charged with arson after claims a disposable barbecue was thrown into woodland.

Aleksejs Sokolovs, 45, and Darius Lazausaks, 45, both from Boston, Lincolnshire, are accused of arson with intent to damage property.

On Sunday, members of the public put out a fire at Bawsey Country Park near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and called emergency services at about 11.40am.

Sokolovs, from Valentine Close, and Lazausaks, from Carlton Road, were detained by an off-duty police officer.

They were then taken to King’s Lynn Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

The pair were charged then released on bail and are due to appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates' Court on 15 September.

The fire happened at Bawsey Country Park near King's Lynn on Sunday. (Google Maps)
The fire happened at Bawsey Country Park near King's Lynn on Sunday. (Google Maps)

Superintendent Nathan Clark said: "Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished, and I’d like to thank those members of the public for their help.

"As we’ve seen recently, the impact of extreme heat and fires can be devastating."

Firefighters have been tackling blazes across the UK as temperatures soared amid a heatwave.

At the weekend, firefighters said a heathland blaze next to Studland beach in Dorset on Friday was most likely started by a disposable barbecue.

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About 90 firefighters tackled the blaze and 10 engines were deployed from neighbouring areas.

A spokeswoman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) said on Saturday: "We found evidence of a little camp where someone had used a disposable barbecue.

"We can’t say 100% that was the cause but when we find evidence we have to assume that’s the most likely cause – fires don’t just start on their own."

A number of supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Aldi agreed to halt sales of disposable barbecues amid concerns over their effect amid the heatwave.

Watch: Tinder-dry conditions spark fire warnings in England

Tony White, Head of Prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fires that are started deliberately can destroy property and take lives and we’re grateful to our partners in the police for their prompt response to these reports.

“However, the fact is it's very easy for anyone to start a fire in these circumstances even without malicious intent.

"We all need to stay vigilant and keep safe in this heat, by never discarding cigarette ends carelessly, leaving bottles or glass behind in the open and by not using barbecues in fields, open grassland, parks and forests, and only ever igniting a barbecue when it's safely on solid, non-flammable surfaces such as the patio."