Police say Nicholas Wattiez was the victim as arson confirmed at Whittlesey factory blaze

A WHITTLESEY warehouse gutted by arsonists housed Albermarle Wholesale, the new company set up by 62 year-old Nicholas Wattiez.

Police confirmed the blaze, which destroyed part of the 85,000 square feet furniture warehouse on Lattersey Hill Trading Estate, Benwick Road, was run by Mr Wattiez.

“It is evident he is the victim,” said a police spokesman.

More than 40 fire fighters were deployed in tackling the blaze which destroyed a large amount of furniture which formed the basis for Mr Wattiez’s latest enterprise.

Mr Wattiez had recently been re-building his business following release from prison and had been advertising a variety of jobs including that of salesperson with an opportunity to earn up to �40,000 a year.

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Albermarle Wholesale’s most recent 24 page sales brochure has been advertising a massive range of ex hotel stock including 145 units from the Hilton Hotel chain.

Another claim made in the brochure is the company’s acquisition of �250,000 worth of Sico stock – a European manufacturer.

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The company also says it has taken delivery recently of tens of thousands of pounds worth of catering equipment from a five star hotel which also includes a marble reception area!

Contacted by phone today one employee- who identified himself only as Sam- said the blaze had “knocked us for six. I hope we can get going again”.

Another employee I spoke to –Dave- said insurance assessors were currently at the warehouse and trying to establish the cause of the blaze.

“It is a not a good situation,” said Dave.

In 2001 Mr Wattiez was found guilty – in his absence- of fraud and sentenced to two consecutive four years terms of imprisonment. By then he had skipped bail but was arrested in 2002 but arrested in Derbyshire and given an additional eight months for breaching bail.

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