A catering equipment fabricator whose premises were burnt down in the early hours of yesterday morning fears the incident is linked to a land dispute involving Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
Firefighters took three hours to put out the blaze at the North London factory of Archway Steel Metal Works after they were called to the scene at 5am.
As reported by Catering Insight back in April, Archway’s premises sits opposite the Spurs ground on land that the club wants to purchase to build a new stadium.
Owners of the fabricator suspect arson after revealing they have received threats from supporters over their refusal to sell up and allow the club to proceed with its redevelopment plans.
Josif Josif, 46, owner of Archway, told the Evening Standard: “People were calling us and threatening us and we were receiving bomb threats and that started a few months ago, but we don’t know if that’s got anything to do with it.“
Another family member told the paper they thought it was “more than likely” that the blaze was started deliberately.
He said: “We have been receiving threats on a day to day basis, mainly phone calls being abusive. We are just waiting now to see what the damage is; we want to crack on with the business if we can.”
Archway was founded by Mr Josif Sr. and made its name manufacturing catering equipment for the ethnic community in London. It built everything from kebab machines and display cabinets to commercial chip fryers.
From there it expanded into the general foodservice market and customers now range from fast food joints to high-end London restaurants.
London Fire Brigade confirmed that six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended the fire at the Paxton Road site.
“Half of the two storey building’s ground floor and the whole of its first floor were damaged in the blaze,” it said. “The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
The Metropolitan Police said that it was looking into the cause of the blaze and was treating the incident as “suspicious”. No arrests have been made.