Firefighters say City of London staffer set fire to clubhouse used as homeless shelter

City of London police have charged City of London employee Thomas Lyttle, after a fire started at a golf course clubhouse was meant to be used as a homeless shelter.

The fire ignited last week in the basement of the Earl’s Court golf course clubhouse, although the floors had been stripped away. Although it didn’t damage the building or the adjacent Holiday Inn Express Hotel, the source of the fire was still labeled as suspicious by fire crews, according to the Guardian.

The fire began after fire crews were denied access to the site to douse the flames with water due to claims of open drains. The UK charity StreetSavers was to be running a sheltered homeless facility under the clubhouse, and the fire actually delayed that operation by 24 hours.

City of London employees announced that Lyttle was placed on a compulsory leave of absence after the fire. In a statement, a spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said that “the City remains fully committed to supporting the legitimate activities of our employees” and that “We have been in contact with the police following their investigation into the matter.”

A full police interview has since been held with Lyttle, who “confirmed that he was the one involved in setting off the fire,” according to the Guardian.

Lyttle is currently awaiting his day in court.

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