Fire at popular karting and paintball centre suspected to be arson

A fire at a popular outdoor karting and paintball centre near Sleaford on Saturday night is suspected to have been started deliberately.

Black smoke rising from the Ancaster karting centre on Saturday night, taken at about 6.30pm by Joanna Livsey. EMN-210329-092432001

Five fire crews were called from Sleaford, Grantham, Brant Broughton, BIllingborough and Holbeach to deal with the blaze at Ancaster Karting and Paintball Centre, off Ermine Street in Ancaster, when the alarn was raised shortly before 6.30pm.

Residents nearby were advised to keep doors and windows closed due to the black smoke as the fire wrecked a large quantity of tyres and pallets, a trailer, trees and vegetation.

One resident, Joanna Livsey said she heard an explosion from the site a short time before 6.30pm, but so far a cause for the fire has not yet been announced by investigators.

Anneliese Johnson from the centre quickly reported the news to the village’s Facebook page, apologising to residents for anyone affected.

She said: “No one has been hurt. We are however investigating images of people on the private property and any information private messaged would be gratefully received. Thank you for your patience please bare with us!

She later added: “The fires have been successfully put out due to the outstanding efforts of numerous fire crews that attended. Their professionalism and efficiency was incredible.

“Fortunately the fast response enabled the fires to be contained so as not to spread to our main buildings! Thank you for the offers of assistance, all animals and people I am pleased to say are ok!”

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman stated: “We were alerted at 6.43pm on Saturday to a fire at Ancaster Karting. We will be investigating as an incident of arson.

“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 101 with reference number 373 of March 27.”

Ancaster Kart Racing later put out an official statement saying: “We are relieved to say that the arson fire at Ancaster Leisure was contained to just a non-operational storage area of the site by the fire crews. Their (fire service) fast and effective action meant that the fire did not spread significantly into the woodlands or into buildings.

“We can confirm that this has not affected our activities or dampened our spirits and we will re-open as planned to welcome everyone again to enjoy some much needed fun activities to share with friends, colleagues and relatives!

“Investigations into unknown persons seen on site are ongoing.

“Thank you for all your concern and support.”

The kart circuit is due to reopen for rental karting on April 12.