TWO girls were arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire behind Stroud Register Office.

The girls, aged 15 and 17, have since been released under investigation, the police told the SNJ.

A force spokesman said: "Two girls from Stroud, aged 15 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of arson on Thursday evening after the Fire Service informed us that they had been called to The Old School Buildings on Wood Street in Stroud.

"They have since been released under investigation."

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Old School Buildings in Wood Street at 10.08pm on Thursday evening.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire Service said: "We were called to a fire at the Old School Buildings in Wood Street, Stroud, at 10.08pm on Thursday evening.

"Two engines were sent from Stroud and one from Nailsworth to a two-storey stone-built property that is used for student accommodation.

"The ground floor was 25 per cent damaged by fire and 100 per cent damaged by smoke.

"Crews used two hose reels and four sets of breathing apparatus to put it out.

"No one was injured and crews left the scene at 11.31pm.

"This was a police-led incident and is being treated as suspected arson".

Residents said there was a 'toxic smell' in the air and that they were keeping their windows closed.

This picture was posted on Facebook by Tim Bryant and shared on Nailsworth Chat & Information.