The A14 westbound road in the village was closed due to a robbery and fire at Spaldwick Service Station. The road was subsequently re-opened although the service station remains closed and coned off, with extensive fire damage. The building has been boarded up. The photos, taken from the public pavement, show the service station prior to being boarded up, with firefighters still on the scene.
According to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, “Crews from Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Sawtry and St Neots were called to a fire at the petrol filling station in High Street, Spaldwick. The main building was well alight and heavy smoke was issuing. The forecourt was not affected and fuel pumps were isolated. 12 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reels and jets to extinguish the fire and positive pressure ventilation fans to clear smoke. The fire was extinguished by 7.25am. The cause of the fire was deliberate. Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”
According to the Cambridge News, a gang of robbers “smashed their way into the building with an axe”. Sadly, there was a lone male member of staff working, who was “left terrified by the attack” but was uninjured.
The gang drove up in a dark Honda 4×4, which was later dicovered burnt out in Corby. The gang escaped with cash from the safe, alcohol and cigarettes.
In the early hours of the morning, the main entrance to the building was locked although the service station was open for petrol sales.
According to the Cambridge News, the gang demanded that the person on duty show them the safe. Police said that, after the robbery, the rear of the building was covered in a flammable liquid and set alight.
Village residents have asked us to pass on their good wishes to the owners of the service station and their staff at this difficult time. This is a very sad development for the village, particularly with the recent closure of Number 12 shop and deli. The service station has been a source of employment for some villagers.
On the Spaldwick Village Facebook page, Spaldwick resident and District Councillor Jim White posted, “A truly sad loss for the community”. “My thoughts at this time are with the young man on duty who suffered a horrendous attack; no one should have to endure such an awful experience”, he added. “My thoughts are also with the owners who now have to rebuild their business.”
If you have any information, please contact Sarah Sleaford at Cambridgeshire Police by phoning 101.