Teenagers aged 14 and 17 arrested over blaze at former Debenhams building in Northampton

Gang hunted over allegedly setting fire to market stall and throwing objects off town centre roof

Police have confirmed two teenagers were arrested following a string of incidents in Northampton town centre, including a fire in the former Debenhams building.

The pair, aged 14 and 17, are believed to have been among a gang of yobs believed to be responsible for the blaze and also setting fire to a stall canopy in Market Square.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: "We were called just before 6pm last night to the Drapery to reports of a group of boys throwing objects off the roof of the old Barclays building opposite All Saints Church.

Up to 20 firefighters tackled a blaze on the fourth floor of the former Debenhams store in Northampton last night. Photo: Aperturenorthampton.com

"The same group were then reported to have climbed onto market canopies and set fire to one of them before they then set fire to the top floor of the empty Debenhams building.

"Two boys aged 17 and 14 were arrested in connection with the incident and enquiries are ongoing to identify the others."

Officers are appealing for witnesses to any of the incidents last night to get in touch by calling 101 quoting incident number 22000155355.

Crews from The Mounts, Mereway, Moulton, Earls Barton and Brixworth were called to deal with the blaze in Debenhams at around 9pm.

Debenhams closed its doors in the Drapery in May 2021 after the iconic retailer was liquidated, ending nearly 70 years of trading in Northampton.

The site has been earmarked for redevelopment to be replaced by a mixed-use building including a smaller retail unit, more than 200 flats, gym and central courtyard.

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IN PICTURES: Firefighters tackle blaze at derelict Debenhams store in Northampto...