Video shows arsonist setting fire to Warlingham restaurant

EXCLUSIVE: CCTV recordings from early on Thursday morning show a man throwing ‘petrol bombs’ into the dining pods at the Spaghetti Tree on Limpsfield Road

Inside Croydon today publishes for the first time video evidence that has been handed to police which appears to show the moment when an arsonist deliberately set fire to the Spaghetti Tree restaurant in Warlingham in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The video is taken from the business’s own CCTV. An individual can be seen moving between the dining “pods” in the garden.

They then seem to throw something inside two of the pods, which quickly explode into balls of flame.

No one was reported to be hurt in the blaze at the venue on Limpsfield Road – what used to be the Hare and Hounds pub.

But there has been widespread speculation that the fire may have been the result of arson, speculation which the video appears to demonstrate is well-founded.

Surrey Police have not responded to Inside Croydon’s request for comment on the nature of their investigation.

Gutted: the damage to the outdoor ‘al fresco’ dining area at the Spaghetti Tree is extensive

They have, however, issued an appeal for witnesses, in which they describe the pods as “garden furniture”.

“We were called by Surrey Fire and Rescue after garden furniture caught fire in the garden of the Spaghetti Tree in Limpsfield Road,” Surrey Police posted on their social media.

“Fortunately, no one was injured but there was some damage caused to the building however, the fire was soon brought under control.

“If you have any information that may assist our investigation, please get in touch quoting PR/45230083598 via DM Surrey Police.”

Locals have suggested that the person seen in the CCTV video may have themselves been burned by one of what some have called “petrol bombs”. Reports, unconfirmed, say that a burned shirt and disposable lighter were dumped outside the nearby Sainsbury’s.

The dining pods, which can seat 10, in the garden of the Spaghetti Tree were a relatively recent innovation at the restaurant, with the venue charging up to £1,000 to hire one for an evening.

The venue had attracted a degree of notoriety in July 2021 after a private party – said to have been organised by rapper Stormzy – ended in a mass brawl in which eight people were injured. There is no suggestion at this point of any connection between that incident and this week’s fire.

At the time, Surrey Police said they received multiple 999 calls regarding “a large fight”, and four men were arrested for offences including Grievous Bodily Harm, affray, Actual Bodily Harm and violent disorder.

As a result of that incident, Surrey Police applied to Tandridge District Council for the venue to be stripped of its alcohol licence.

Among papers presented to the licensing meeting, the police said it was reported that “up to 50” people were fighting at the restaurant when officers were called just before 10.30pm on Saturday, July 3, 2021.

“Callers were also reporting that people were being hit by flying glass and that a metal pole was being used as a weapon,” it said.

But at a full licensing review hearing, the authority ruled the Spaghetti Tree’s licence could stay in place with some conditions.

On Thursday this week, after the fire, the restaurant’s management announced that the Spaghetti Tree would be “closed until further notice following an incident that occurred in the early hours of this morning”.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Business, Outside Croydon, Policing, Restaurants, Surrey, Tandridge District Council and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Video shows arsonist setting fire to Warlingham restaurant

  1. Lewis White says:

    Mama mia !
    Let us hope that the Polizia arrest the arsonista prontissimo.

    Perhaps the perpetrator parked in Sainsbury’s and bought a lighter before crossing the road. CCTV footage may hold the clue to their indentity.

    A 50 person brawl is unusual in Chelsham, if not in the 1950’s in Calabria.

    Another case for Inspector Albano of the Surrey Police.

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