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The Brigade attended quickly.
A fire was found in the back bedroom. It consisted of clothing and the crew smelt paraffin. The fire was quickly put out and the police notified of their findings.

The occupier, a Mr H. A. Smallbones who has since been identified as the owner denied any involvement. He said he was in bed and had called the brigade. He was instructed to leave the room as it was to be examined by the police.
The next morning the room was found to have been cleared out and the floor had been scrubbed.

Mr Smallbones was arrested the next day in London Street, Andover. He told the Superintendent of Police he was 'not to blame' and was reported to have said 'Now you've got prove it'. He may also have claimed at his hearing that his money was missing after being searched and locked up at the police station. In a press report.The PC involved denied searching him or finding any money.

When he came before the local magistrates, there was much debate at the hearing. There were six witnesses including W.G.Prior, a sixteen year old boy who said "He had been asked to fetch paraffin or Benzene from the shop".

There was a challenge by a Southampton barrister, of the police's authority to bring the case.
This was considered and dismissed. The Mayor in the chair announced that they had found there was a case to be answered. Bail was granted and he was remand for trial.

The Assizes trial at Winchester proceeded with all the witnesses being called including the Captain of the Brigade.

After a lengthy trial. Smallbones was convicted and sentenced by Judge Lawrence. to five years in Winchester Prison.