BREAKING: Police arrest former Royal Holloway student for arson

Fire engines arrived and students were evacuated after smoke was seen emerging from the building

A man has been arrested on suspicion of committing arson on the fourth floor in East Founders.

Students were left confused earlier this evening when they were told to evacuate the building, and were given no explanation as to why they had to, with many assuming it was a fire drill practice.

However, suspicions gradually increased as news spread that the eagerly anticipated Winter Ball – organised by the Red Cup Company – had been cancelled.

Several students were seen sitting in the Windsor Building lobby, after being forced to remain in the cold – the presence of a few fire engines and police suggesting that the situation was getting out of hand and not a drill.

Surrey Police have now issued a statement, confirming that they have arrested the man which they had previously detained. They arrested the 21-year-old on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, after they discovered a number of fires which are thought to have been started deliberately. Fortunately no one is thought to have been injured as a result of the incident.

Sniffer dogs were said to be being led around campus, as helicopters circle overhead.

UPDATE: This was the scene as a “young male student” was arrested in relation to the events:

According to witnesses he is a former Royal Holloway student.

Students have been told they will not be staying in Founders overnight.

Up to 30 police are said to be on campus.

The police statement in full:

“Officers were called to assist fire crews around 8pm following the discovery of a number of fires within a dormitory building believed to have been started deliberately.

“Residents were evacuated from the building while officers, including dog units and the police helicopter, carried out a search for the suspect. No one is thought to have been injured as a result of the incident.

“A 21-year-old man was detained nearby shortly afterwards and has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He is currently in custody. Enquiries, including searches to establish that there are no further fires, remain ongoing.

“The incident has resulted in significant fire damage to at least one of the rooms within the building.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting incident reference P16274692.