Police probe suspected arson attack at bakery

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The Metropolitan Police are probing a case of suspected arson in a London bakery
The Metropolitan Police are probing a case of suspected arson in a London bakery

Related tags: Insurance

Police detectives are investigating a suspected arson attack at a bakery in Ballards Lane, Finchley, London.

The blaze began at the Persian bakery Tavazo at about 4am on Monday, March 14 – the day before the new business was due to open. 

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers dealt with the fire, which damaged the bakery shop.

A police spokesman told Foodmanufacture.co.uk that arson was suspected but no arrests had been made so far.

‘Started deliberately’

He said: “The fire is believed to have been started deliberately. Enquiries continue.”

The owners of the bakery – brothers Shari Roberto and Mehram Armando – lost £50,000 of food and equipment, according to a report in the Hendon & Finchley Times​.

Rebuilding the bakery and shop could take up to two months. The insurers of the business were currently assessing the damage.

‘Upset and angry’

Roberto told the newspaper: “We are both upset and angry that someone could do this to us right before we were meant to open. It is sickening to think someone could have got hurt.

“It looked really cool. We spent a lot of money on building it up and it was a mix of modern and traditional.

“We are going to open still – we are not going to crumble.”

The brothers were said to own another food business in Ealing, West London.

The Fire Brigade was called at 0405 on the morning of the fire and the fire was under control by 0558.

Fire crews from Finchley, Hendon and West Hampstead attended the scene.

Meanwhile, another fire in a food factory​ in the Park Royal area of London recently forced the evacuation of about 30 staff. No one was hurt in the blaze.

New insurance regulation: what you should know

A new Insurance Act​, which came into force this month, imposes extra duties on firms, with fire outbreaks in the front line of insurance claims. Electrical fires and arson were a persistent problem for the food and drink manufacturing industry, according to a report from the insurance firm Aon UK. Under the new legislation company senior management teams are required to disclose knowledge of what “the insured knows”​ to their insurance providers.  It also requires that companies avoid ‘data dumping’ or providing large volumes of information to insurers without sufficient structure. Food manufacturers were advised to have robust business planning in place.

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