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Suspect remanded over series of arson attacks

By Neil Lancefield

A man has been charged in connection with a spate of arson attacks.

Andrew Main (47) of Roke Marsh, Roke, Wallingford, was charged in connection with fires in south Oxfordshire in the early hours of Thursday, Thames Valley Police said.

He has been charged with one count of arson with intent to endanger life and two counts of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The charges are in relation to fires in Crowmarsh Gifford and Roke Marsh when a council office, a funeral parlour and a thatched cottage were all set on fire. At their peak, 27 crews were tackling the fires which started within 10 minutes of each other shortly after 3am.

In the first blaze, Jean Gladstone (80) escaped unhurt from her thatched cottage in Rokemarsh.

Minutes later a second fire was reported at a funeral parlour in the village of Crowmarsh Gifford.

The third blaze was at the nearby council offices, damaging 85% of the buildings.

Main was remanded in custody.

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